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Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

Gold Fame Citrus

Literary Fiction   Thriller / Suspense   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   
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Gold mines, the fame of Hollywood, the orange groves, three great symbols of California, three reasons to go there. Now none of them remains. There is no more water and without it nothing can live, but people are stubborn and life endures. Young lovers Luz and Ray struggle on the edges of an empty and collapsing society, until they find a strange child and with her a reason to try and leave the desert for a better life. It is an impossible and heart-breaking journey. This is not just a dystopian thriller. The climactic changes are plausible, worryingly possible. The situations make sense, and make us wonder what we would do if faced with the same. It is an excellent novel for our times; a tale of instincts, twists and betrayals; a compelling piece of writing. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Claire Vaye Watkins you might also like to read books by Cormac McCarthy, Paolo Bacigalupi and Hugh Howey.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our expert opinion, a small number of our Lovereading reader review panel members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. You can read the full reviews here.

  • Angie Rhodes - 'This is so well written, you can taste the sand grains and feel the heat and panic.'
  • Victoria Halliday - ‘A lyrically-written dystopian novel about life in California after the water has run out. Highly recommended.’
  • Vikki Patis - ’There's something deliciously awful about society disintegrating and humankind having to fight for survival.’
  • Keith Currie - ‘This novel blazes with a dangerously brilliant intensity, a polemic on man-made ecological disaster, which happens to be beautifully and inventively written.’
  • Mary Gibson - ‘A dystopian drama that echoes some of the great American writers - Margaret Atwood, Marge Piercy, Cormac McCarthy.’
  • Sarah Musk – ‘A haunting, strange book about a part of America which has turned to desert and the people who cling on to a world which is gradually slipping away into the sand.’
  • Tanya Thurling - 'I honestly thought I was going to love this book, but I struggled to get through it and I must admit that even though I stuck it out and read until the end, it's left me feeling a bit confused.'
  • Alex Hetherington - 'The writing is very eloquent and at times the individual harrowing moments of what lies around them works...'
  • Julie Bertschin - 'A strange and mystical voyage through the people left behind the desert sand dunes.  Luz and Ray are nomads who journey together through the deserted west coast of America in search of hope.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'There was a real dream like quality about the story, but it was easy to imagine a world where it could alter so much...'
  • Ian Tyreman - 'Interesting concept for a novel but just didn't grip me.'


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To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

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Enter prize draw Draw closes: 04/12/2017


Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

'A Mad Max world painted with a finer brush' Elle 'An unforgettable journey into a hauntingly imagined near-future' Ruth Ozeki 'Set in a drought-ravaged Southern California trolled by scavengers, Gold Fame Citrus burns with a dizzying, scorching genius' Vanity Fair Desert sands have laid waste to the south-west of America. Las Vegas is buried. California - and anyone still there - is stranded. Any way out is severely restricted. But Luz and Ray are not leaving. They survive on water rations, black market fruit and each other's need. Luz needs Ray, and Ray must be needed. But then they cross paths with a mysterious child, who needs them more than anything - and the thirst for a better life begins. Claire Vaye Watkins's much-anticipated and lauded first novel delivers on her promise as one of America's best new writers.


'A Mad Max world painted with a finer brush' Elle

'An unforgettable journey into a hauntingly imagined near-future' Ruth Ozeki

'Set in a drought-ravaged Southern California trolled by scavengers, Gold Fame Citrus burns with a dizzying, scorching genius' Vanity Fair

'An extraordinary novel: relentlessly brilliant, utterly fearless, and often savagely funny. Watkins explores the maze of human thirst in all its forms. Here's a love story that tracks the mutating hopes of two lost souls, in prose that is fever-bright and ferociously assured. More confirmation that Watkins is one of the brightest stars in our firmament' Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia and Vampires in the Lemon Grove

'A tour-de-force first novel blisters with drought, myth, and originality ... Praised for writing landscape, Watkins grasp of the body is just as rousing... Critics will reference Annie Proulx's bite and Joan Didion's hypnotic West, but Watkins is magnificently original' Kirkus

About the Author

Claire Vaye Watkins

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

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Book Info

Publication date

26th January 2017


Claire Vaye Watkins

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riverrun an imprint of Quercus Publishing


352 pages


Literary Fiction
Thriller / Suspense
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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