Wilton Reads Fall 2013: The Cutting Season by Attica Locke — Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road Wilton, CT 06897 Tel: 203-762-3950

Wilton Reads Fall 2013: The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

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We encourage all community members to join us this fall as we come together to read, discuss and reflect upon The Cutting Season by Attica Locke. Wilton Reads has, for several years, given us an opportunity through fine literature to sharpen our view of ourselves and the world around us.  In this sweeping story of the south, Attica Locke provides an unblinking commentary on politics, race, the law, family and love.

The Cutting Season is a heart-pounding thriller that interweaves two murder mysteries, one on Belle Vie, a historic landmark in the middle of Louisiana’s sugarcane country, and one involving a slave gone missing from the same plantation more than one hundred years earlier.  It was selected by bestselling author Dennis Lehane as the first pick for his new line of books at HarperCollins. Lehane says, “I was first struck by Attica Locke’s prose, then by the ingenuity of her narrative and finally and most deeply by the depth of her humanity. She writes with equal amounts grace and passion. After just two novels, I’d probably read the phone book if her name was on the spine.”

Attica Locke’s widely acclaimed debut novel, Black Water Rising, was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an Edgar Award, and an NAACP Image Award, and was short-listed for the Orange Prize in the UK. As a screenwriter, Locke wrote scripts for Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, and HBO. She was a fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Feature Filmmakers Lab and has served on the board of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.

In recognition of her exemplary contributions to contemporary literature, Ms. Locke will become the fifth recipient of Wilton Library’s Grodin Family Fine Writers Award when she arrives to speak to us on September 27th.  

What do the critics have to say?

“As she managed to do so well in her first novel, ‘Black Water Rising’, Locke draws on the past to remind her characters how much it has shaped their identities and how much it continues to shape the choices they make…the language of her storytelling is sturdy and absorbing.” - The New York Times Book Review

“One of the most engaging and gifted new voices in the genre. . . . The Cutting Season does more than exhume a body—it rattles the bones of slavery, race, class, and power to examine a crime that reverberates from more than a century ago.” - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Locke’s [The Cutting Season] is written with fluidity and elegance, evoking the uniqueness of her setting and the nuances in the relationships of her characters, complicated by race, class, and history.” - Kirkus Reviews

Taut, hauntingly resonant, and beautifully written, The Cutting Season is at once a thoughtful meditation on how America reckons its past with its future and a high-octane page-turner that unfolds with tremendous skill and vision, demonstrating once again that Locke is “a writer wise beyond her years”  – Los Angeles Times

“A layered, nuanced mystery with a social conscience. Weaving legal, social, historical, and economic elements into the story of a changing family, it’s a good choice for readers who enjoy multifaceted mysteries.” - Library Journal

“[An] atmospheric . . . nuanced look at the South’s tragic past and one strong woman’s stand against ingrained cultural and economic oppression.” Booklist Online Booklist

Listed as one of Oprah’s “Page-Turners You’ll Tear Through” in July 2012.

Please note the following important dates for Wilton Reads 2013:

Day Date Time Description
Wednesday August 28th 10 am until
they’re gone
Distribution of 100 free books* (1 per person, please)
Monday September 16th 7 to 8:30 pm Discussion of The Cutting Season with Joanna Ecke


Monday September 23rd 10:30 am to noon Discussion of The Cutting Season with Susan Boyar


Friday September 27th 7 to 9 pm Author appearance: Attica Locke


*thanks to the Grodin Family Fine Writers Fund

If you’re a member of a book discussion group, please tell your fellow book group members about what we’ve got in store. We’ve purchased extra copies of The Cutting Season for you to borrow, and have large print and CD versions of the book, too. You can reserve any of these versions online or by phone and have them waiting for you at the front desk or the drive-up window on Godfrey Place.

Wilton Magazine is the media sponsor for Wilton Reads 2013

Accommodations provided by

Want to learn more about the author and novel? Explore these sites:

Book groups may find the Reading Group Guide for The Cutting Season particularly helpful with a brief biography of the author and twenty-three discussion-starting questions.

Visit Harper Collins’ Reading Guide for more discussion questions.

The New York Times printed a write up and book review containing more insights.