Skip to main content

Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s work has appeared in Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, AGNI, Kenyon Review, Callaloo, Massachusetts Review, the Bitter Southerner, LitHub, Pacific Standard, and the Los Angeles Times. He is the winner of the Iowa Review Fiction Award, the Soto Speak Journal Short Story Award, and the William Faulkner Competition for Novel in Progress. His first novel, We Cast A Shadow (Random House, 2019), is forthcoming.

Author

<em>Landwhale: On Turning Insults Into Nicknames, Why Body Image is Hard, and Why Diets Can Kiss My Ass</em>. By Jes Baker. Seal, 2018. 272p. PB, $15.99. </p>

Returning the Gaze

Fall 2018 | Criticism

Perhaps the most surprising fact about the recent Women’s Marches is not that they have become an annual event, or that these marches sprung forth all over the globe from Washington, D.C. to Paradise Bay, Antarctica. No, if an alarm should be raised, it’s due to the non-committal response of the patriarchy: a grunt from the woods. 

Male liberal politicians have offered lip service but spent little political capital pushing comprehensive legislation to eliminate the problems that bedevil women’s lives: domestic violence, insufficient health care, and unequal pay. Male conservative operators have predictably been dismissive or patronizing. Media coverage of the marches has consisted of male commentators talking while women are trapped in a small box at the corner of the screen, silenced.

Personal Terrors

Summer 2018 | Criticism

The first time a police officer runs his hand up the secret space between my legs, I’m sixteen. I’ve just walked out of a dance. I’m not drunk. In fact, with one exception, I won’t even have a glass of wine until my midtwenties. I’m not high. I’ll never smoke a joint or do ecstasy. I’m certainly not armed. Even firecrackers scare me. But I am almost six-three in my boots. I’m over 270 pounds, which was useful during my aborted stint on my high school football team. And, yes, I’m Black. 


To continue reading, please login or subscribe.