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Watkins, Clare Vaye

Entry updated 12 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

(1984-    ) US academic and author in whose early stories, assembled in Battleborn: Stories (coll 2012), various characters adhere to the Nevada landscape where their destinies generally unfold; autobiographical elements – Watkins is the daughter of Paul Watkins (1950-1990), who was involved in the Manson Family tragedies – surface in some of these tales, which generally permit but do not advocate readings more intense than realist conventions normally permit. Of direct sf interest is her first novel, Gold Fame Citrus (2015), set in a Near Future American West desolated by Climate Change; after the last water has disappeared, the last inhabitants of Los Angeles (see California) inhabit a deadly arena, and the protagonists of the tale, with a purloined child in tow, migrate eastwards through Ruined Earth scapes, encountering a derelict horde occupying Underground caverns beneath the Mohave Desert on their trek toward the Amargosa region of Nevada, where, inspired by rumours of a preacher with answers to the plight of the West, they believe a community exists where they may find salvation. Far more pyrotechnical than the novels by Cormac McCarthy from late in his career, Gold Fame Citrus nevertheless conveys a hard bleakness about the End of the World that is strongly evocative of The Road (2006). [JC]

Clare Vaye Watkins

born Bishop, California: 1984




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