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Extended Audio Sample Gold Fame Citrus: A Novel, by Claire Vaye Watkins Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Claire Vaye Watkins Narrator: Jorjeana Marie, MacLeod Andrew Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 2012, Claire Vaye Watkins’ story collection, Battleborn, swept nearly every award for short fiction. Now this young writer, widely heralded as a once-in-a-generation talent, returns with a first novel that will more than meet readers’ hopes, harnessing the sweeping vision and deep heart that made her debut so arresting to a love story set in a devastatingly imagined near future.

In a parched southern California of the near future, Luz, once the poster child for the country’s conservation movement, and Ray, an army deserter turned surfer, are squatting in a starlet’s abandoned mansion. Most “Mojavs,” prevented by armed vigilantes from freely crossing borders to lusher regions, have allowed themselves to be evacuated to encampments in the east. Holdouts like Ray and Luz subsist on rationed cola and water, and whatever they can loot, scavenge, and improvise.

For the moment, the couple’s fragile love, which somehow blooms in this arid place, seems enough. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins. Heading east, they are waylaid in the desert by a charming and manipulative dowser—a diviner for water—and his cultlike followers, who have formed a colony in a mysterious sea of dunes.

Immensely moving, profoundly disquieting, and mind-blowingly original, Watkins’ novel explores the myths we believe about others and tell about ourselves, the double-edged power of our most cherished relationships, and the shape of hope in a precarious future that may be our own.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A blockbuster novel.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • "[Gold Fame Citrus] burns with a dizzying, scorching genius.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “The prose in Gold Fame Citrus is stunningly beautiful…Watkins writes with a brutal kind of beauty, and even in the book’s darkest moments, it’s impossible to turn away.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Watkins is a master of tantalizing details…You can feel the grit in your teeth as this thirsty little family drives across an ocean of sand without a map or a prayer.”

    Washington Post

  • “Watkins’ brilliant writing in Gold Fame Citrus will scorch you.”


  • “Packed with persuasive detail, luminous writing, and a grasp of the history (popular, political, natural and imagined) needed to tell a story that is original yet familiar, strange yet all too believable.”

    Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

  • “In her powerful depictions of the scorched and merciless landscape, Watkins realizes a genuine nostalgia for our lost living world and the American West in particular…With its damaged and complicated heroine and multiple voices, shifting perspectives, and unconventional narrative devices, [Gold Fame Citrus] is a wholly original work.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Spectacular…[A] fast-moving, high-tension, sexyecocrisis saga.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A tour-de-force first novel blisters with drought, myth, and originality…Critics will reference Annie Proulx’s bite and Joan Didion’s hypnotic West, but Watkins is magnificently original.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “In gorgeous prose…Watkins creates a hauntingly believable world and an unforgettable love story.”


  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick of Awesome New Books You Need to Read This Fall
  • An Indie Next List Pick for October 2015
  • A BookPage Top Pick of Debut Fiction for October 2015
  • A BookPage Best Book of 2015
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