Alumni Success: Maurice Ruffin, J.D. '03

Maurice Ruffin, J.D. ’03 is gathering accolades for his debut novel, “We Cast a Shadow.” The Los Angeles Times, which names Ruffin one of “11 authors to watch in 2019,” calls his book “one of the most anticipated debut novels” of the year. It’s been listed as an important book to read by Southern Living, Cosmopolitan, Garden and Gun magazine and the Southern Independent Booksellers Association.

Ruffin, who describes himself as “totally New Orleans,” was raised by his parents in New Orleans East. He played high school football at McDonogh 35 and married his high school sweetheart Tanzanika Washington. He majored in English at the University of New Orleans and then went on to pursue a law degree at Loyola College of Law. While practicing law, he earned an MFA degree from University of New Orleans. Currently, he’s taking classes online in pursuit of a master’s degree in psychology.

While at Loyola,  some of the notable activities he was involved in include: the Loyola Law Review, selection as the 2003 class graduation speaker, oralist on the ATLA Louisiana Trial Team (2002 State Champions), team brief writer at the 2002 Tulane Mardi Gras Moot Court Competition, treasurer of the Black Law Students Association, student ambassador, and the 2000 recipient of the Outstanding Service to the College of Liberal Arts Award. 

Ruffin’s novel, “We Cast a Shadow,” is a dystopian satire about a black lawyer in a version of the American South who considers getting a "demelanization" for his biracial son to spare him from the violence that faces African Americans. As the novel progresses, however, it evolves from an account of political compromise into one of protest and radicalization.

Ahead of the novel's publication, the New York Times heralded Ruffin as one of the "Black Male Writers for Our Time."

Read reviews by the Times Picayune and the New York Times to learn more.


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