The Reading List with Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Jan 27, 2019

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with New Orleans writer Maurice Carlos Ruffin, whose long-awaited new novel, “We Cast a Shadow," is on all the 2019 must-read lists.

Here’s what’s on tap in the literary life this week:

Here in New Orleans:

  • Fiddler, poet and  storyteller Ken Waldman presents his show, "Donald Trump is My Muse," Monday, January 28, at 7 Art Klub NOLA, 1941 Arts St. Tickets at
  • The French Literature Discussion Group will read Alexandre Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo,” beginning Monday, January 28 at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Avenue, Metairie. The reading for the first meeting is chapters 1-27.
  • Marian Moore reads from and signs her first book of poems. “Louisiana Midrash,” Tuesday, January 29, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Maurice Carlos Ruffin debuts his novel, “We Cast a Shadow,” Tuesday, January 29 from 6-9, at a party including an interview with his editor, Victory Matsui, at the Ace Hotel’s Three Keys, 600 Carondelet St.
  • The Jefferson Parish Library presents its first “Digital Expo” Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon, Metairie. The Digital Expo is designed to explain how to enjoy the library’s free digital content. Content includes eBooks, audiobooks, music, movies, magazines, and comics delivered directly to a patron’s device – smartphones, laptops, smart TVs, tablets, etc. 
  • Latrina Graves McCarty discusses and signs “Olivia’s Journey,” Saturday, February 2, at 1 p.m. at Barnes & Noble/Westbank.
  • Ashley Young facilitates a workshop, “Writing Memoir Through Ancestral Narratives,” Mondays in February from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Dragonfly, St. Claude Ave. For registration and tuition information email
  • The Friends of the New Orleans Public Library are sponsoring the Inaugural Alvar Zine Contest. 2019's theme is Mardi Gras. Make a zine about Carnival history, a story taking place during Mardi Gras, a personal memory, or a reflection on how the season makes you feel. To enter, submit a print copy of your zine to any New Orleans Public Library location. Electronic submissions, including your name, e-mail or phone number, and an attachment of your zine, may be submitted to  The winner will receive a $50 Visa gift card and will have 100 copies of their zine printed and distributed at the New Orleans Comics and Zine Festival in April. All entries received will be added to the Alvar Zine Library.  The winner will be notified on Monday, April 1.