Attica Locke is a writer who has worked in both film and television for over ten years. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has written movie scripts for Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and Jerry Bruckheimer films, as well as television pilots for HBO, Dreamworks and Silver Pictures. She was a fellow at the Sundance Institute's Feature Filmmaker's Lab and most recently completed an adaptation of Stephen Carter's The Emperor of Ocean Park. She is member of the Writers Guild of America, west, and is currently at work on an HBO miniseries about the civil rights movement, based on the writings of historian Taylor Branch. A native of Houston, Texas, Attica lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and daughter.
Attica Locke recommends
"Propulsive, brutally honest and yet unexpectedly tender, Dodgers is one of the best debuts I've read. I was absolutely gripped by the voice, the world of East and his brother, and surprised at nearly ever turn. I audibly gasped at the end."
(Darktown, book 1)
"From the very first page of Darktown, I was stunned, mesmerized, and instantly a huge fan of Tom Mullen. Beyond the history and the thrilling mystery, the book’s soul lies in the burgeoning partnership (and dare I say friendship) at the center of the book. It’s a reminder of the ties that cut across race in America. There is nothing I love more in a book than hope."
Fateful Mornings (2017)
(Henry Farrell, book 2)
"More than a mystery, Fateful Mornings is a portrait of the rusted pocket of Northeastern Pennsylvania that Henry Farrell calls home. Bouman's tender portrait of a widower remaking his life infuses his crime fiction with a level of intimacy that is both rare and winning. I was happy to ride shotgun with Henry Farrell again."
The Which Way Tree (2018)
"'Preacher Dob said, Vengeance belongs to the Lord, Samantha. She said, Only if he can beat me to it.' This told me everything I needed to know about Samantha Shreve, a character who knocked my socks off from her first appearance on the page. This book is the stuff of legends, tales told for a hundred years around Texas campfires. Written in a form that is historically accurate and yet feels painstakingly intimate, The Which Way Tree is unlike anything I've read before."
The Fighter (2018)
Michael Farris Smith
"The Fighter is a book I wish I'd written but am deeply grateful I got to read. It is a masterful portrait of place and character and how one influences the other, with language that is both brutal and tender at once."
Your House Will Pay (2019)
"Steph Cha has taken a dark moment in Los Angeles's violent history and cracked it wide open, creating a prism of understanding."
Pretty Things (2020)
"I love a good con story--especially when I can't tell who's the actual mark and who's the real con artist. In Janelle Brown's compulsively readable Pretty Things, the good girls and the bad girls keep switching places in a story that will keep you turning pages till the end. Even more richly told than Watch Me Disappear, Brown's latest novel has the same sharp observations that are her trademark--about shifting identities and the secrets we all keep."
These Women (2020)
"I can promise you will not easily forget the women in this book. This is Ivy Pochoda at the height of her power--to slip inside the psyche of women at the margins; to, with a conjurer's flair, capture the voices of multiple characters with pitch perfect grace; and to craft a bendy, surprising, page-turning tale. It's brilliantly plotted and beautifully written."
Yellow Wife (2021)
"Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson is a page-turner of a novel that is utterly transporting. Johnson's rich historical detail and enchanting prose sucked me into another world from the very first page. The book is a reminder that the inner lives of black women are as complicated as they are fascinating and make for some of the most affecting literature in American history. I loved it."
The Low Desert (2021)
"There is something inherently violent about living in the California desert, about the imposition of human will--swimming pools and lush green lawns, air-conditioned palaces, and rolling golf courses--on an inhospitable, rust red, hard-as-stone landscape that otherwise seems indifferent to your suffering--be it from the punishing heat or the grifters and gangsters who've been drawn to the desert for generations. Tod Goldberg understands this and has written a collection of stories that are keenly observed, wryly funny, and heart-wrenching in equal measure. If wisdom can be gleaned from taking a sharp look at the human impulse toward violence, then Tod Goldberg is one of this nation's sagest storytellers."
The Other Black Girl (2021)
Zakiya Dalila Harris
"OMG, as the kids say. This is the funniest, wildest, deepest, most thought-provoking ride of a book. I have been Nella. Every black woman has been Nella. Zakiya Dalila Harris has pulled back the curtain on the publishing industry, but in doing so, she has also perfectly captured a social dynamic that exists in job cultures as varied as tech, finance, academia, even retail and fast food. Oh, beware of the 'OBGs'Other Black Girlsy’all. As we should all be aware of the psychic cost to black women of making ourselves palatable to institutions that use our cultural cache for their own ends while disregarding any part of our hearts and minds that they either can’t or won’t understand."
Clark and Division (2021)
"Naomi Hirahara's Clark and Division opened my heart and mind to specifics of the experience of Japanese Americans during the Second World War. Rich in period detail, it is page-turning historical fiction, a tender family story, and a mystery that plays on two levels: What happened to Rose Ito? and At what cost are Japanese Americans finally seen as full Americans? It's a story that moved me deeply."
The Turnout (2021)
"There is not a writer alive who is better at investigating the tension and threat of violence at the centre of women's lives than Megan Abbott-because no one else is looking at the violence from within women's lives, as opposed to outside threats on trains, planes, in windows, or on dark, shadowy streets. Megan goes into the heart of female spaces and finds the ugly in all that pretty, the dark in all that light, with breath-taking suspense. The Turnout has notes of James M. Cain and Alfred Hitchcock, but it's better because it's so fresh and unexpected, so wholly revelatory. I turned page after page, holding my breath in fear, and also excitement, about what might happen in this run-down ballet school, what blood red might be lurking behind all that pink. This is Megan Abbott working at the absolute height of her talent."
The Accomplice (2022)
"Masterfully plotted, The Accomplice is both a keep-you-guessing mystery - like, seriously, I didn't see any of it coming - and a keenly and tenderly observed character study and portrait of a beautiful friendship complicated by a strange body count that keeps growing around them. I was rooting for Owen and Luna, but murder has a way of testing the bounds of even the tightest of best friends."
"Mecca is beautiful, richly layered and full of a California that feels uniquely itself--but also as a stand-in for the richness of American history and our cultural melange."
The World Cannot Give (2022)
Tara Isabella Burton
"Tara Isabella Burton has consistently revealed herself to be one of this country's most interesting writers. There is almost nothing she sets her pen to that isn't page-turningly fascinating. She roots around the dark corners of the human psyche, writing astutely about the dangers of repression and the psychological and physical violence it often breeds. The World Cannot Give was as unexpected as it was riveting."
After the Lights Go Out (2022)
"John Vercher has such love and compassion for his characters in Three-Fifths that I couldn't help but be sucked into their lives from the very first pages. It's so incredibly suspenseful that I was continually surprised by the story and deeply moved by the time I turned the last page."
The Darkness of Others (2022)
"The Darkness of Others is a deftly plotted, smartly observed page-turner that manages to thrill at the same time as capture the emotional chaos of the early pandemic years."
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