Shawn Stewart Ruff writes short stories, novellas and novels. He studied English and American Literature at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio and currently works as a freelance writer. His debut novel Finlater (2008) was awarded with the Lambda Literary Award and was a finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. Finlater brings readers into the lives of Cincinnati youngsters in the 1970s. In Toss and Whirl and Pass (2010) post-9/11 New York City forms the set for the troubled lives of adult artists. Ruff is now working on a collection of stories set in Cincinnati, just before and after the riots of the 1960s and the one that occurred in 2001. Ruff is also the editor of the landmark anthology Go the Way Your Blood Beats: An Anthology of Lesbian and Gay Fiction by African-American Writers (1996).
During his residency Ruff engaged in research for his novella Tenths (2013) that is partially set in Amsterdam. In this book African-American, educator, poet, widower, philanthropist and marijuana artisan Aitch Kramer forms an unlikely friendship with a gay kid and his mother from the drug-infested projects. Next to the research for his new book Ruff organised writing workshops for young writers in collaboration with Heesterveld Creative Community and MC Theater and read from his own work during the Pink Salon What’s drugs and sex got to do with it? at Bijlmerparktheater.
Shawn Stewart Ruff (US, )