Few contemporary writers have portrayed black Southern life with as much wit and heart-pounding drama as Attica Locke, whose latest book is the mystery "Bluebird, Bluebird." Formerly a writer and producer on the television show "Empire," Locke took the publishing world by storm with her debut legal thriller, "Black Water Rising." Centered on a black lawyer from Locke's hometown of Houston, the book won several awards and spawned the bestselling follow-up, "Pleasantville." She forayed into historical fiction with "The Cutting Season," a literary mystery that weaves together a murder at a Louisiana historical landmark with the murder of a slave that took place a century earlier. Each of her books combines fast-paced plotting with complex observations about race, class and gender that engage some of the ugliest parts of America's past — and present.
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