Novelist to Serve as UNO’s Fall 2023 Commencement Speaker

Maurice Carlos Ruffin
Maurice Carlos Ruffin

NEW ORLEANS — Acclaimed novelist and University of New Orleans alumnus Maurice Carlos Ruffin will serve as the principal speaker at the University’s fall 2023 commencement ceremony, which will take place at the UNO Lakefront Arena at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8.

Ruffin is the author of the forthcoming historical novel “The American Daughters,” which will be published in 2024 by One World Random House. He is the recipient of the 2023 Louisiana Writer Award.

He also wrote “The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You,” which was published by One World Random House in 2021. It is the 2023 One Book One New Orleans selection. The book was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a finalist for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and longlisted for the Story Prize. The book was also selected to represent Louisiana at the 2023 National Book Festival.

- Sponsors -

His first book, “We Cast a Shadow,” was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the PEN America Open Book Prize. It was longlisted for the 2021 Dublin Literary Award, the Center for Fiction Prize and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. The novel was also a New York Times Editor’s Choice.

Ruffin is the winner of several literary prizes, including the Iowa Review Award in fiction and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Award for Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Oxford American, Garden & Gun, Kenyon Review, and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America.

A New Orleans native, Ruffin earned two degrees from the University of New Orleans: a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Fine Arts from the Creative Writing Workshop.

Digital Sponsors / Become a Sponsor

Follow the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in New Orleans.

Email Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter