Attica Locke hasn't lived in Houston for 20 years, but the city in which she grew up leaps off the pages of her latest novel, Pleasantville. The book is a follow-up to her popular 2009 novel Black Water Rising--a look at the intersection of race, oil money, and politics in 1980s Houston--and reacquaints readers with protagonist Jay Porter, the disaffected lawyer whose inner turmoil drove much of the action. That doesn't mean Pleasantville is a sequel, though--not quite.
"There was a lot of back-and-forth about whether I was pulling this off," confessed Locke. "I wanted to write this so that you didn't have to read the first book. I bristle at the word 'sequel'. I feared that people would expect the same experience, the same character, and I wanted Jay to grow as an individual who has aged, and a city that has grown up a little bit since 1981."More »