Gold Fame Citrus

Author(s): Claire Vaye Watkins

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'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.

~ Los Angeles in the near future is a parched and desolate wasteland, it's environment and people corroded by endless sun. The mirage of all it stood for - the Californian dream (gold, fame and citrus) - is a fast-fading memory. A dune sea - both spectacular and monstrous - is sweeping over vast mountain ranges and moving steadily across the land, burying all in its path under a cloak of bright, white sand. Amidst this greater context - in an evacuated city where only outsiders and outlaws remain - is the real heart of the novel - the story of Luz and Ray. Luz  - an ex poster child for water conservation as a baby who went on to become a model - is a husk of a person, attaching herself to people and things that give her a sense of purpose and meaning. Then there is Ray who loves and cares for her - a wanderer and ex-soldier who is more damaged than he lets on. 

They spend their days in a film star's empty mansion, in a state of inertia - Luz donning fancy clothes and reading while Ray sees to more practical affairs like obtaining ration Cola and black market fruit.  On one such mission, accompanied by Luz, they come across a toddler - Ig - who is being mistreated and neglected by the drug-addled revellers she appears to be with. In a turn of events, they take her to preserve her safety, and thus starts their real journey across the desert towards a rumoured Prophet-type figure and his dune colony. A compelling and chilling journey follows, with a cast of fleshed-out characters - both believable and complex. The dune sea is like a siren, both beguiling and deadly, and as a reader I was drawn to it in the same way Luz and the dune colony are - I didn't want to leave the world this novel created! Jemma


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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. / facebook.clairevaye.watkins / twitter@clairevaye

General Fields

  • : 9780857054814
  • : Quercus Publishing
  • : riverrun
  • : 0.248
  • : December 2016
  • : 199mm X 132mm X 25mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : March 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Claire Vaye Watkins
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 813.6
  • : 352
  • : Six original