Maurice Carlos Ruffin writes about fathers trying to reach their sons, about peoples recently released from prison, about fathers with dead daughters, about people experiencing homelessness, showing the erasure that they feel by writing about these unseen, and about the ghosts that try to reach them.
What the narrator of Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s debut novel doesn’t fully comprehend is that he is worried about his son inheriting trauma from him. Inheriting something that cannot be wiped away.
I’ve grown to feel that the direct address of second person point-of-view—you—feels like a forced intimacy. There’s an insistence that isn’t necessarily requited, a desperation that meshes perfectly with the plight of the main character of Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s compelling “The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You,” (The