A rising star who's at the cutting edge

 

Attica Locke's first novel, Black Water Rising, was shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize. It took on murky municipal politics, union disputes and the slow death of the 1970s activist dream in Texas.

Her new book, The Cutting Season, examines the fall-out after a body is discovered on a former plantation turned wedding venue in present-day Louisiana. What sets both novels apart is their willingness to comment on wider issues such as the plight of migrant workers or the nature of race in a post-Obama America.

The idea for her new book came after Locke (left) and her husband, Karl, attended a wedding at the Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. “I couldn't decide whether holding a wedding in that place was a sign of healing or sense that we've become so disconnected from history that we've turned a slave plantation into a party place,” says Locke, 38. “I felt there was no way that I could sit sipping champagne and not acknowledge that people had died in this space.”

'The Cutting Season' is out now

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