Ceremony honors Gaines Award winner Ceremony honors Gaines Award winner Advocate staff May 17, 2014 Comments Ceremonies for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s seventh annual Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Manship Theatre at the Shaw Center for the Performing Arts. This year’s winner is author Attica Locke for her work “The Cutting Season.” Published by Dennis Lehane Books, “The Cutting Season” tells the story of a fictional 2009 murder on a sugar plantation in Louisiana that uncovers secrets dating back to the Civil War. In unraveling the mystery, Locke examines larger issues of race and class. Ravi Howard, 2008 winner of the Gaines Award, will emcee the event, which includes a selected reading from Locke and a reception catered by Mansurs on the Boulevard. Both the ceremony and reception are free and open to the public, though seating is limited and reservations are required. Doors open at 6 p.m. Dress is cocktail-attire. For tickets, contact the Manship Theatre at (225) 344-0334 or toll free at (866) 451-2787. Event underwriters include the Baton Rouge Area Foundation Downtown Enhancement Fund, the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation and the McMains Foundation.