Tuesday, January 29, 2019

We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

This debut novel by Maurice Carlos Ruffin is one of my most anticipated releases this year. It's received a lot of positive buzz and a few reviewers that I follow and trust have raved about it. I pre-ordered a copy after trying to win an ARC and failing. I've had no luck with giveaways & ARC requests lately! I will be checking my shipping status a lot today, fingers crossed Amazon doesn't let me down.  

How far would you go to protect your child?

Our narrator faces an impossible decision. Like any father, he just wants the best for his son Nigel, a biracial boy whose black birthmark is growing larger by the day. In this near-future society plagued by resurgent racism, segregation, and expanding private prisons, our narrator knows Nigel might not survive. Having watched the world take away his own father, he is determined to stop history from repeating itself.

There is one potential solution: a new experimental medical procedure that promises to save lives by turning people white. But in order to afford Nigel's whiteness operation, our narrator must make partner as one of the few Black associates at his law firm, jumping through a series of increasingly surreal hoops--from diversity committees to plantation tours to equality activist groups--in an urgent quest to protect his son.

This electrifying, suspenseful novel is at once a razor-sharp satire of surviving racism in America and a profoundly moving family story. Writing in the tradition of Ralph Ellison and Franz Kafka, Maurice Carlos Ruffin fearlessly shines a light on the violence we inherit, and on the desperate things we do for the ones we love. 

About the Author

(Photo via Goodreads Bio via Ruffin's Website)

Maurice Carlos Ruffin has been a recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction and a winner of the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, The Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. A native of New Orleans, Ruffin is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop and a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance.


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these books as I rec'd an ARC last year of Ruffin's and the UK version of HOS (I learned so much about Zimbabwe in this one - I googled sooo much info while reading). Both were on my Top reads list for the year! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

  2. I'm so glad to hear that they are excellent reads. Thanks for visiting the blog!


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