Bookshelf: Gold Fame Citrus

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

A Good Line or Two:

"Punting the prairie dog into the library was a mistake." (p 1)

First line of the book. Gosh, I laughed so hard when I read that.

Got Me Thinking About:

Water. We live in the New York City watershed; our creek becomes NYC's drinking water. It's very wet here, it's very protected here. It might not always be. 

And Watkin's article in Tin House On Pandering that I read a few weeks ago which is what prompted me to pick up her book. What a mind! What a voice! You should read the whole thing. Really! I'll wait.

Welcome back! Wasn't it amazing when she said this?:

The stunning truth is that I am asking, deep down, as I write, What would Philip Roth think of this? What would Jonathan Franzen think of this? When the answer is probably: nothing. More staggering is the question of why I am trying to prove myself to writers whose work, in many cases, I don’t particularly admire? ...

I wrote Battleborn for white men, toward them. If you hold the book to a certain light, you’ll see it as an exercise in self-hazing, a product of working-class madness, the female strain. So, natural then that Battleborn was well-received by the white male lit establishment: it was written for them. The whole book’s a pander. Look, I said with my stories: I can write old men, I can write sex, I can write abortion. I can write hard, unflinching, unsentimental. I can write an old man getting a boner!

She can write like a man, they said, by which they meant, She can write.

Mic drop. Right?


In the house, as a wedding party joyfully raged on in our meadow. See, I shut down the Front Desk/Bar at 3pm when the ceremony began and didn't have to re-open til 8:30am the next day for coffee, buuuuut I did have to stay on-site and be available in case of any kind of emergency. And Steven was out of town. This book made for a wonderful companion.