Attica Locke’s first novel, Black Water Rising, was nominated for a 2010 Edgar Award, an NAACP Image Award, and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and it was short-listed for the prestigious Orange Prize in the UK (now the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction). Her second book, The Cutting Season, published by Dennis Lehane books, is a national bestseller, and, like her debut, was a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. It was also named an Honor Book by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was long-listed for the Chautauqua Prize.
A graduate of Northwestern University, Locke was a fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Feature Filmmakers Lab and had planned a career as a movie director, but got derailed along the way, spending many years instead as a screenwriter-for-hire. She wrote scripts for Paramount, Warner Bros, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, HBO, and Dreamworks. Highly paid, yet unproduced, Locke grew restless with the Hollywood studio system. “There were days I felt like I was writing solely for the pleasure of a group of studio execs, all within a fifteen-mile radius of Burbank, California, that my work had no meaning beyond that.” In 2005, she gave herself one year to change her life—during which she wrote the first draft of Black Water Rising. “Besides motherhood, it was the single most transformative experience of my life.”
Locke is a member of the academy for the Folio Prize in the UK and is also on the board of directors for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.
A native of Houston, Texas, Attica lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and daughter.
The Cutting Season (2012)
Black Water Rising (2009)