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An Evening with Annell López and Maurice Carlos Ruffin

April 9 • 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Join us for a delightful evening as we celebrate the release of Annell López’s debut book, I’ll Give You a Reason. Annell will be featured alongside Maurice Carlos Ruffin. Indulge in a unique experience as each book is paired with a carefully selected wine.

Be in the room with Annell López and Maurice Carlos Ruffin as they jointly commemorate the launch of their latest works. Both authors will share anecdotes, reflections, and readings from “I’ll Give You a Reason” and “The American Daughters.”

This event will take place at Vino Fine Wine and Spirits. Guests can sip and savor their wine while engaging in insightful discussions with Annell López and Maurice Carlos Ruffin, making for an unforgettable evening celebrating two favorite New Orleans authors.

Tickets are required.


About the authors:

Annell López is a Dominican immigrant. She is the winner of the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize and the author of the short story collection I’LL GIVE YOU A REASON from the Feminist Press. A Peter Taylor Fellow at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshops, her work has also received support from Tin House and has appeared in Guernica, American Short Fiction, Michigan Quarterly Review, Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. López received her MFA from the University of New Orleans. She is working on a novel

Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You, longlisted for The Story Prize and 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 among others. A recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction and the Louisiana Writers Award, 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.

About the books:

The vibrant stories in I’ll Give You a Reason explore race, identity, connection, and belonging in the Ironbound, an immigrant neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. A young widow goes on her first date since her husband’s death and finds herself hunting a bear in the woods with a near stranger. An unhappy wife compares her mother’s love spells and rituals to her own efforts to repair her strained marriage. A self-conscious college student discovers a porn star who shares her name and becomes obsessed with her doppelganger freedom and comfort with her own body. Annell Lopez’s indelible characters tread the waters of political unrest, sexuality, religion, body image, Blackness, colorism, and gentrification–searching for their identities and a sliver of joy and intimacy. Through each story, a nuanced portrait of the “American Dream” emerges, uplifting the voices of those on its margins.

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. Ady, a curious, sharp-witted girl, and her fierce mother, Sanite, are inseparable. Enslaved to a businessman in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the pair spend their days dreaming of a loving future and reminiscing about their family’s rebellious and storied history. When mother and daughter are separated, Ady is left hopeless and directionless 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 with help from these strong women—Ady learns how to put herself first. So begins her journey toward liberation and imagining a new future.


Vino Fine Wine and Spirits
8314 Oak St
New Orleans, LA 70118 United States
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