Author(s): Claire Vaye Watkins
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. The night of the raindance, Ig explodes into their fragile family like a miniature missile. Two years old, undernourished, wild - the toddler needs Luz more than anyone. So they steal her. The only way to save themselves now is to escape. It's said there's a man on the edge of the Dune Sea. He leads a camp of believers. He can find water. Venturing into this dry heart of darkness, Luz thinks she has found their saviour. For the will to survive taps hidden powers; and the needed, and the needy, will exploit it. Like Margaret Atwood, Claire Vaye Watkins uses dystopia to traverse the scarred frontier of the heart. In her bare and brilliant prose, nature and human nature, conspiracy and cult, motherhood and manhood are played out across the vast, indifferent, inevitable desert.
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
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. clairevayewatkins.com facebooklogo / clairevaye.watkins twitterlogo / @clairevaye