on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2012 29 Nov

Clare Vaye Watkins: Battleborn (short stories)

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | 1 Comment

Claire Vaye Watkins‘ father, who died when she was 6, was a member of the Charles Manson family who escaped the cult to settle in the Mojave. In 10 stories set in her home state of Nevada (dubbed the „Battle Born“ state because it was founded during the Civil War), she takes an unflinching look at the apocalyptic. She writes of a mother’s suicide, a father’s unnatural love for his daughter, a nuclear test blast that „sends the curse southeast, toward Las Vegas, to my mother’s small chest, her lungs and her heart.“ She describes raw and arid landscapes around Reno, Virginia City, Black Rock and a brothel in Pahrump, where an Italian tourist holes up while waiting to learn if a friend lost in the desert has died. In her opening story, „Ghosts, Cowboys,“ she reckons with her own heritage, giving us artfully crafted sections on the founding of Reno during the Gold Rush era, the Spahn Ranch where 1950s Westerns were filmed, and her parents‘ „toxic and silver-gilded love.“ „And there is still so much I’ll never know, no matter how much history I weigh upon myself,“ she writes.

Watkins has a survivor’s gift for identifying the crucial detail, and she’s a straight shooter. Each story from this talented writer is wired to detonate.


Rezensionsnotiz – Frankfurter Rundschau, 08.11.2012
Claire Vaye Watkins‘ Geschichten gehören „zum Wundervollsten“, das sie seit langem gelesen hat, freut sich Sabine Vogel. In „Geister, Cowboys“ sind zehn Shortstories versammelt, die allesamt um die Sehnsüchte der Autorin kreisen, berichtet die Rezensentin. Vogel lässt die Geschichten in ihrer Rezension selbst unberührt, nur Bilder greift sie auf: Wüsten, Mondlandschaften, Einsamkeit, Goldgräber-Geister und andere verlorene Seelen. Alle Geschichten haben ein „verlässliches Heimweh nach der Verlassenheit“ gemein, findet die Rezensentin. Watkins Buch hat Sabine Vogel viel Freude gemacht. (Quelle: Perlentaucher)

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