Maurice Carlos Ruffin in Conversation with Dawn Stough about "American Daughters"


American Daughters is Maurice Carlos Ruffin's third novel and has already received many accolades, included a starred review from Kirkus. Maurice returns to Pass Christian Books to discuss and read from American Daughters. The discussion will be facilitated and moderated by Dawn Stough at 301 East Scenic on Wednesday, March 6th beginning at 6:00 PM. Please RSVP to this event here:    Maurice Carlos Ruffin Event

When Adebimpe is ten, she is sold with her mother, Sanite, to plantation owner John du Marche. He soon renames her Ady but Sanite never lets her daughter forget who she really is - a person who can read and write and understand numbers. Most importantly, Sanite reminds Ady that she must never reveal these abilities to a white person, especially not her true name. Tasked with maintaining du Marche's home in vibrant New Orleans, Ady takes in the city and starts to envision life beyond her dire circumstances. One day, she notices a beautiful stranger, radiant and poised with a colorful Tignon wrapped regally around her head. Ady realizes that she is a Free Woman. Inexplicably drawn to her, but not knowing who she is or what she does, Ady begins to search for answers - which eventually brings her to Lenore, a free woman who owns the Mockingbird Inn. When Lenore invites Ady to join The Daughters, Ady finds spiritual and sexual liberation, and with their help, imagines a new future for herself and her family.

Early Reviews:
"I knew from page one that this wasn't going to be a typical journey through a familiar history. Wonderfully structured with a genius conceit, Maurice Carlos Ruffin's The American Daughters is a thoughtful, courageous, exciting invitation to look beneath the surface--to uncover, peel back, find, and examine the hidden, lost, and missing fragments of the record, the recovery of which will lead us to discover the spirit of resistance embodied by our ancestors and awaken it in ourselves. . . . A splendid work." --Robert Jones, Jr., New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award Finalist The Prophets

The American Daughters is an emotionally and intellectually captivating journey through slavery and into our future. It is a wholly unique story that challenges what we think we know of the past, truth, American history, and how we will carry what was into what will be. With fully fleshed out characters and enchanting detail, antebellum New Orleans is vivid in Ruffin's rendering, and Ady is an unforgettable protagonist, a character who meets the crossroads of history with remarkable courage and enduring love." --Imani Perry, author of South to America

"Maurice Carlos Ruffin's third book is a tour de force. An intelligent and haunting novel that grapples with the legacies of American slavery, The American Daughters features a sparkling cast of engaging Black women that you won't soon forget." --Lauren Wilkinson, author of American Spy

"Ruffin's dignified prose and focus on the bonds of women of color help elevate the novel from the tropes of slavery narratives, and he paints a vibrant picture of antebellum New Orleans. Readers won't be able to resist this stirring story of freedom by any means necessary." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A high adventure, a revealing history, and a chronicle of one woman's self-realization. Ruffin also displays some of the cunning imagination and caustic wit he showed in his previous work by interspersing his narrative with imagined transcripts from the past, present, and even the future. Black women as agents--literally--of their own liberation. Who wouldn't be inspired?" --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You, which was longlisted for the Story Prize and was a finalist for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and We Cast a Shadow, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and International Dublin Literary Award. A recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction, he has been published in the Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, the Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. A native of New Orleans, he is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop and a professor of creative writing at Louisiana State University.

Dawn Stough grew up in George County, Mississippi and now resides in Gulfport, Mississippi. Stough is a graduate of Tougaloo College and subsequently earned a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. She is the City Prosecutor for Gulfport, Mississippi. Her favorite writers include Jesmyn Ward, Nnedi Okorafor, and Toni Morrison.

Event date: 
Wednesday, March 6, 2024 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
301 East Scenic Drive
Pass Christian, MS 39571
The American Daughters: A Novel By Maurice Carlos Ruffin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593729397
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: One World - February 27th, 2024