Claire Vaye Watkins's picture

Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop, California in 1984. She was raised in the Mojave Desert, first in Tecopa, California and then across the state line in Pahrump, Nevada. A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, Claire earned her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a Presidential Fellow. Her stories and essays have appeared in GrantaOne StoryThe Paris ReviewPloughshares, Glimmer Train, Best of the West 2011New Stories from the Southwest 2013, the New York Times and elsewhere. A recipient of fellowships from the Sewanee and Bread Loaf Writers Conferences, Claire was also one of the National Book Foundations 5 Under 35. 

Her collection of short stories, Battleborn, won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Librarys Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

Her novel, Gold Fame Citrus, is forthcoming from Riverhead Books in Fall 2015.

A Guggenheim Fellow, Claire is on the faculty of the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan. She is also the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.
Claire Vaye Watkins recommends
Big Lonesome (2017)
Joseph Scapellato
"Like Wallace Stegner on peyote, Nathaniel West in a sweat lodge, Larry McMurtry on a vision quest... Scapellato is an oddball oracle, this book his gobsmackingly original prophecy."
What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky (2017)
Lesley Nneka Arimah
"Intense, mesmeric, and nothing short of stunning."
Sycamore (2017)
Bryn Chancellor
"Haunting and elegiac, Bryn Chancellor's Sycamore masterfully traces the fault lines of trauma and loss that resurface in the wake of a tragedy's second coming."
The Salt Line (2017)
Holly Goddard Jones
"With this intense, arrestingly vivid fever dream, Holly Goddard Jones fully realizes a completely original and wholly terrifying dystopian nightmare. Jones's wild, ventriloquist talent unfurls in this novel like never before. Each magnetic character in The Salt Line is boldly alive to the novel's world, at once monstrous, uncanny, and yet entirely ours."
Bury What We Cannot Take (2018)
Kirstin Chen
"This story will sweep you away. An utterly beautiful, entirely engrossing family saga. Chen writes betrayal and love with wisdom and nuance, attuned always to the complexities—personal, historical, cultural—of the human heart. Bury What We Cannot Take is an instant classic."
There There (2018)
Tommy Orange
"There, There is an urgent, invigorating, absolutely vital book by a novelist with more raw virtuosic talent than any young writer I've come across in a long, long time. Maybe ever. Tommy Orange is a stylist with substance, a showboater with a deeply moral compass. I want to call him heir to Gertrude Stein by way of George Saunders, but he is even more original than that. This book will make your heart swell."
The Verdun Affair (2018)
Nick Dybek
"The Verdun Affair is an intensely gripping story set in the immediate aftermath of war. From a still-smoldering battlefield, Nick Dybek conjures a sweeping saga of secrets, lies, mistaken identity, love and betrayal. This is the kind of book you can't put down."
Bangkok Wakes to Rain (2019)
Pitchaya Sudbanthad
"Gorgeously polyphonic and saturated in the senses, Bangkok Wakes to Rain brims with a wistful and gripping energy. Sudbanthad carries us through time and space with a magician's hand, with a visionary's eye - he brilliantly sounds the resonant pulse of the capital city, of his characters' lives. This wise and far-reaching meditation on home will sink into your bones."
The New Me (2019)
Halle Butler
"A bouncy, profane, highly addictive novel about work, female friendship, and other alienations. Halle Butler's insane talent shimmers on every page of this deadpan misanthrope's ode. A must-read!"
How Quickly She Disappears (2020)
Raymond Fleischmann
"An utterly absorbing period saga--an epic stranger-comes-to-town mystery that reads as intimate as gossip...A graceful, daring, deathless story."
Scorpionfish (2020)
Natalie Bakopoulos
"Scorpionfish is a riveting, elegant novel keenly observed in the manner of Elena Ferrante and Rachel Cusk. A divine, chiseled stunner."
You Would Have Told Me Not To (2020)
Christopher Coake
"What a balm to again immerse myself in the short(ish) fiction of Christopher Coake, easily among the form's contemporary virtuosos. Coake's grim, expansive, elegant, and always surprising stories (and one novella) grapple with the aftershocks of careless mistakes and unforgivable transgressions. A singular collection by a writer in top form."
A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself (2021)
Peter Ho Davies
"I never miss a new book by Peter Ho Davies and A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself is his best yet. A taut, raw, clever work of autofiction with a real beating heart, this is the audacious tragicomic novel about fatherhood and long-term love we've been missing."

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