Haunting and beautifully written first novel by the award-winning author of BATTLEBORN, set among a cult of survivors in a dystopian American desert.
'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.
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
A gripping, audacious novel, plausibly imagined in all its remarkable details. With Claire Vaye Watkins there was never promise: it was achievement from the start, and this book repays her admirers in spades - Thomas McGuane
An unforgettable journey into a hauntingly imagined near-future. With her mind-bending vision, breathtaking storytelling and utterly original voice, Claire Vaye Watkins is one of my favorite writers - Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being
Exhilarating, upsetting, delirious, bold, Gold Fame Citrus is a head rush of a novel and establishes Claire Vaye Watkins as an important new voice in American literature - Louise Erdrich, author of The Round House
American odyssey: Set in a drought-ravaged Southern California trolled by scavengers, Gold Fame Citrus burns with a dizzying, scorching genius - Vanity Fair
She's sharp, at times merciless, and never above a little fun . . . The book is instantly entrancing, alluring as a mirage, and filled with peril, mystery, sandstorms, the occult, and a cast of nuanced characters - Los Angeles Magazine
Extraordinary power and beauty . . . A great pleasure of the book is Watkins's fearlessness - New York Times
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 / facebook.clairevaye.watkins / twitter@clairevaye