The Porch is excited to launch a brand new Book Club that features books by our visiting writers! For this first installment, we are discussing Maurice Carlos Ruffin's latest novel The American Daughters, a gripping historical novel about a spirited girl who joins a sisterhood working to undermine the Confederates. Maurice will be teaching a 1-day Virtual class with us on Wednesday, April 17, 6-8pm on "Writing The City."
Ady, a curious, sharp-witted girl, and her fierce mother, Sanite, are an inseparable duo. Enslaved to a businessman in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the pair spend their days dreaming of a loving future and reminiscing on their family’s rebellious and storied history. When mother and daughter are separated, Ady is left hopeless and direction-less, until she stumbles into the Mockingbird Inn and meets Lenore, a free Black woman with whom she becomes fast friends. Lenore invites Ady to join a clandestine society of spies called the Daughters. With the courage instilled in her by Sanite—and help from these strong women—Ady learns how to choose herself. So begins her journey toward liberation and imagining a new future.
The American Daughters is a novel of hope and triumph that reminds us what is possible when a community bands together to fight for their freedom.
This book club event will be moderated by Susannah Felts. We encourage you to shop local: Buy the book at Parnasuss (10% off with mention of the Porch Book Club!), The Bookshop, or Novelette.
This event is partially funded by a grant from South Arts and the NEA.
In addition to The American Daughters, 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.