East City Bookshop welcomes author Maurice Ruffin, We Cast a Shadow, and actor and audiobook narrator Dion Graham, for a conversation moderated by W. Ralph Eubanks.
Tickets are available via Eventbrite here. Registration is required.
This event is an installment of Lit Out Loud, a series of virtual events that bring authors together in conversation with the audiobook narrators of their most beloved titles. Join us for a discussion of the process of writing and narrating a book, how it feels to hear your words read aloud and the power of engaging with a story using both your eyes and ears.
We strongly encourage our customers to purchase this event's audiobooks through our partners at Libro.fm. You can sign up via our virtual storefront here. Once you've created your account and logged in, you can purchase this event's audiobooks here.
About We Cast a Shadow:
“You can be beautiful, even more beautiful than before.” This is the seductive promise of Dr. Nzinga’s clinic, where anyone can get their lips thinned, their skin bleached, and their nose narrowed. A complete demelanization will liberate you from the confines of being born in a black body—if you can afford it.
In this near-future Southern city plagued by fenced-in ghettos and police violence, more and more residents are turning to this experimental medical procedure. Like any father, our narrator just wants the best for his son, Nigel, a biracial boy whose black birthmark is getting bigger by the day. The darker Nigel becomes, the more frightened his father feels. But how far will he go to protect his son? And will he destroy his family in the process?
This electrifying, hallucinatory novel is at once a keen satire of surviving racism in America and a profoundly moving family story. At its center is a father who just wants his son to thrive in a broken world. Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s work evokes the clear vision of Ralph Ellison, the dizzying menace of Franz Kafka, and the crackling prose of Vladimir Nabokov. We Cast a Shadow fearlessly shines a light on the violence we inherit, and on the desperate things we do for the ones we love.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of We Cast a Shadow, which was published by One World Random House. The novel was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. It was longlisted for the PEN America Open Book Prize, the Center for Fiction Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. The novel was also a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Ruffin is the winner of several literary prizes, including the Iowa Review Award in fiction and the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Award for Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Oxford American, Garden & Gun, and Kenyon Review. A New Orleans native, Ruffin is a professor of Creative Writing at Louisiana State University, and the 2020-2021 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. His next book The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You will be published by One World Random House in 2021.
Dion Graham, from HBO’s The Wire, also narrates The First 48 on A&E. An award–winning and critically acclaimed actor and narrator, he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. His performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid and full of life.
W. Ralph Eubanks is the author of Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi’s Dark Past, The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South, and A Place Like Mississippi (Timber Press, March 2021). His essays have been published in the Hedgehog Review, Vanity Fair, The American Scholar, The Georgia Review, and The New Yorker. A 2007 Guggenheim Fellow, he is currently a visiting professor of English and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. He divides his time between Oxford, Mississippi, and Washington, DC.