“Interrogating the Myth of the American West”: An Interview With Claire Vaye Watkins

The desert is alive. In Claire Vaye Watkins’s debut novel Gold Fame Citrus, decades of drought in California have drained the life from the Southwest, leaving the lovers Luz and Ray—a former model and a veteran of the “forever war”—to fend for themselves as foragers and squatters in an actress’s abandoned mansion outside Los Angeles. But new life stirs due south in the form of a shifting dune sea, engulfing whole towns, creating its own weather, and drawing thirsty adventurers […]

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