Attica LockeAttica Locke has just won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, one of the biggest literary prizes for African-American writers.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation administers the $10,000 prize, which is named after one of Louisiana’s most prominent writers. Locke received the award for her second novel The Cutting Season. The book tells the story of a fictional murder on a Louisiana sugar plantation and explores complex issues of race and class.

The Houston native is the seventh person to win the Gaines Award. Her first book, Black Water Rising, earned her several nominations, including one for the 2010 NAACP Image Award and the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize.


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