Award-winning author Maurice Ruffin holds reading at JSU

Photo courtesy of Alba Conejero Gutiérrez/JSU

Abbie Tarvin, Correspondent

On Wednesday afternoon, Maurice Carlos Ruffin joined listeners in the Merrill Hall auditorium for a reading of one of his books. 

Ruffin is a creative writing professor at Louisiana State University in his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. Ruffin has won and been nominated for several literary awards, including the Iowa Review Award for Fiction, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. 

Ruffin has also been published in the New York Times and the L.A. Times newspapers. He currently has two books published titled “We Cast a Shadow” and “The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You: Stories.”

During Ruffin’s reading on Wednesday, he focused on his newest novel—”The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You: Stories”—which was published in 2021. 

He read four of his short stories titled “True Justice for a False Man of God,” “Election,” “Zimmerman,” and “Mercury Forges.” 

Ruffin noted that like the first three of these stories, many of his works contain the point of views of women characters. He does this because he believes that women lead characters need more representation in writing.

However, “Mercury Forges” has a male main character, which he says was based on someone he met. Lastly, Ruffin read his poem “Spinning” which he based on his own childhood.

Ruffin ended the reading with a question-and-answer session that consisted of advice he could give to other writers, his opinion on how someone should write from the point of view of marginalized characters and his experience with promoting his works during the pandemic.

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