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Profiles From The Arkansas Literary Festival: Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Two things you need to know about Maurice Carlos Ruffin: this man is bold, and he is funny.

Both of these qualities serve him well in his debut novel, We Cast a Shadow. The story is an imaginative leap into a futuristic city something like New Orleans, where the economy is still controlled primarily by wealthy white people. But in this future, black people can have surgical procedures to make them look ethnically white in every way.

From this razor-sharp satirical premise follows a plot about an African-American father, a son, and the wrong things we do for our children that we think are right.

Funny, tragic, and compelling, this book needed a bold author like Ruffin, who is a New Orleans native, to pull off its edgy humor along with satire of race relations.

Ruffin will appear in person at this year’s Arkansas Literary Festival.

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