Claire Vaye Watkins - Author

About the Author

Claire Vaye Watkins was raised in the Mojave Desert, in California and Nevada. Her writing has appeared in Granta, The Paris Review, New York Times and elsewhere. Her short story collection, Battleborn, won five awards, including the Dylan Thomas Award; was finalist for two; and was named Book of the Year by five publications. In 2012, Claire was selected as one of the National Book Foundation's '5 Under 35'. A Guggenheim Fellow and an assistant professor at Bucknell University, she is also the co-director of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada. Gold Fame Citrus is her first novel.

 

Author photo © Heike Steinweg

Featured books by Claire Vaye Watkins

Other books by Claire Vaye Watkins

Gold Fame Citrus

Gold Fame Citrus

Author: Claire Vaye Watkins Format: eBook Release Date: 29/09/2015

Named a Best Book of the Year byThe Washington Post, NPR, Vanity Fair, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Refinery 29, Men's Journal, Ploughshares, Lit Hub, Book Riot, Los Angeles Magazine, Powells, BookPageandKirkus ReviewsThe much-anticipated first novel from a Story Prize-winning ';5 Under 35' fiction writer. In 2012, Claire Vaye Watkins's story collection, Battleborn, swept nearly every award for short fiction. Now this young writer, widely heralded as a once-in-a-generation talent, returns with a first novel that harnesses the sweeping vision and deep heart that made her debut so arresting to a love story set in a devastatingly imagined near future: Unrelenting drought has transfigured Southern California into a surreal, phantasmagoric landscape. With the Central Valley barren, underground aquifer drained, and Sierra snowpack entirely depleted, most ';Mojavs,' prevented by both armed vigilantes and an indifferent bureaucracy from freely crossing borders to lusher regions, have allowed themselves to be evacuated to internment camps. In Los Angeles' Laurel Canyon, two young MojavsLuz, once a poster child for the Bureau of Conservation and its enemies, and Ray, a veteran of the ';forever war' turned surfersquat in a starlet's abandoned mansion. Holdouts, they subsist on rationed cola and whatever they can loot, scavenge, and improvise. The couple's fragile love somehow blooms in this arid place, and for the moment, it seems enough. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins. They head east, a route strewn with danger: sinkholes and patrolling authorities, bandits and the brutal, omnipresent sun. Ghosting after them are rumors of a visionary dowsera diviner for waterand his followers, who whispers say have formed a colony at the edge of a mysterious sea of dunes. Immensely moving, profoundly disquieting, and mind-blowingly original, Watkins's novel explores the myths we believe about others and tell about ourselves, the double-edged power of our most cherished relationships, and the shape of hope in a precarious future that may be our own.From the Hardcover edition.

Battleborn

Battleborn

Author: Claire Vaye Watkins Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2013

The stories in Battleborn all unfold in Watkins's home state of Nevada, from down south in Nye County and Las Vegas, to Reno, Lake Tahoe, and the Blackrock Desert, the site of Burning Man. We are introduced to a very specific small town America, to those homes and lives off the highway - the ones travellers and writers usually drive past on their way to somewhere else. While the locations are ordinary, the characters and Watkins' telling of their lives are anything but. There is the man who finds a cache of letters, pills and a photograph abandoned by the side of the road and as he writes to the man he imagines left them behind, reveals moving truths about himself ('The Last Thing We Need'); the man in late middle age who finds a troubled, pregnant teen dying in the desert and, through her, begins to dream of regaining the family he lost ('Man-O-War'); the brothers caught in the early days of the gold rush ('The Diggings'); and the sisters unable to comfort each other following their mother's suicide ('Graceland'). And there is the first story ('Ghosts, Cowboys'), a semi-autobiographical account of a troubled - and famous - family history.

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