UM Author Explores What Life Might Be Like in a Dystopian Southern California

What would happen if a decades-long drought lays waste to beautiful Southern California? That’s part of the premise of the novel Gold Fame Citrus by University of Michigan assistant professor Claire Vaye Watkins. Watkins takes a dystopian, vacated SoCal landscape and infuses what you might think wouldn’t remain: life and family. Gold Fame Citrus explores what makes the human experience valuable in any circumstance. 

Watkins speaks with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson about why she chose that backdrop for her story.

I really wanted to use the language of science and climate science… to talk about spiritual, metaphysical ideas,” she says.

On how climate change is affecting the American psyche, Watkins says, ”I think it’s somewhat of an identity crisis… The American West was founded on the idea of divine right. Now there’s narrative saying, ‘not so fast.’” 

To hear more from Watkins’ conversation about her novel Gold Fame Citrus, click on the audio link above.


Image credit: Caio, Pexels

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