Friday, September 28, 2012

Attica Locke

Attica Locke's latest novel is The Cutting Season.

From her Q & A with Irene Lacher for the Los Angeles Times:

Is there a story behind your first name?

Yes, I was named after the prison riot at Attica prison in New York.

Because you were such an adorable baby?

All I know is I was born three years later, in '74. [My mother] has since said it's a fit for my personality. I guess I'm fiery or righteous, but she felt right away that's what she wanted her child to be named. It's late '60s, early '70s politics. Both my parents were activists in Texas, starting in college at the University of Houston and for a few years after.

I gather that your new book was inspired by a visit to Oak Alley Plantation.

I went to a wedding at the Oak Alley Plantation in 2004. It's in Vacherie, La. We were bused from New Orleans, and you basically drive through rural poverty and all of a sudden these majestic columns shoot up along the Mississippi and it is a stunning sight. And I immediately felt my stomach turn over, because I was confused by the mix of the beauty and what the place represented. When we disembarked from the bus, I burst into tears. I was there with my white husband — it was 2004 — and the couple getting married there was an interracial couple. So I didn't understand if our presence there was a sign of...[read on]
Read more about the book and author at Attica Locke's website.

Learn about Locke's hero from outside literature.

The Page 69 Test: Attica Locke's Black Water Rising.

--Marshal Zeringue