Lockhart, Zelda

views updated

Lockhart, Zelda


Children: one daughter, one son. Education: Graduated from Norfolk State University and Old Dominion University.


Home—Hillsborough, NC. E-mail—[email protected].


Author. Has worked as a director of a cultural center, a human resources trainer, an editor, and a grant writer.


Fifth Born (novel), Atria Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Cold Running Creek (novel), LaVenson Press (Hillsborough, NC), 2006.

The Evolution (novella), USAToday.com, 2006.

Contributor of essays, poetry, and fiction to periodicals, including Sinister Wisdom, Sojourner, Calyx, and WordWrights.


Zelda Lockhart is a novelist, poet, essayist, and community activist from Hillsborough, North Carolina. Her first novel, Fifth Born, tells the story of an African American girl who endures unimaginable abuses at the hands of her parents and finds an unlikely savior in a long-lost relative. It is Lockhart's hope, as shared in an interview with Lambda Book Report contributor Riggin Waugh, that the book "speaks to something inside people, makes them hunger for the truth, makes folks think about the women they love, and the amazing acts of heroism that may be unspoken there." Waugh went on comment: "Lyrical, poignant, and powerful, Fifth Born explores how secrets can tear families apart and unravel people's lives." O: The Oprah Magazine reviewer Lisa Shea remarked: "Lockhart's mastery of sensory detail—the tastes, smells, sounds, and sights of Odessa's world—roots us moment to moment in the hardscrabble life of this transcendent tale." Lockhart's protagonist, wrote a contributor to Kirkus Reviews, is "possessed of a keen perception that brings the hazy memories of childhood into sharp relief," part of what makes the book an "impressively mature piece of work." "The narrative is straightforward and lyrical," wrote a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "Odessa's voice is believable and the evolution of her character in the face of overwhelming alienation is as engaging as it is heartbreaking."

Lockhart's second book has roots in her personal family history—she discovered that her maternal great-grandmother was Native American, of Choctaw descent. Extensive research led Lockhart to the realization that relations between African Americans and Native Americans during the nineteenth century were complicated at best and violent at worst; racism was rampant and slavery was not uncommon. Cold Running Creek is a fictional work based on facts uncovered during Lockhart's research, and follows three generations of African American and Native American women.



Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2002, review of Fifth Born, p. 770.

Lambda Book Report, February-March, 2003, Riggin Waugh, "Amazing Acts of Heroism: Riggin Waugh Interviews Zelda Lockhart," p. 6.

O: The Oprah Magazine, August, 2002, Lisa Shea, "Biblio: From Our Shelf to Yours," p. 76.

Publishers Weekly, July 29, 2002, review of Fifth Born, p. 53.


Zelda Lockhart Home Page,http://www.zeldalockhart.com (April 25, 2007).