|Author: Claire Vaye Watkins|
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From the Publisher:
Like the work of Cormac McCarthy, Denis Johnson, Richard Ford, and Annie Proulx, Battleborn represents a near-perfect confluence of sensibility and setting, and the introduction of an exceptionally powerful and original literary voice. In each of these ten unforgettable stories, Claire Vaye Watkins writes her way fearlessly into the mythology of the American West, utterly reimagining it. Her characters orbit around the region's vast spaces, winning redemption despite - and often because of - the hardship and violence they endure. The arrival of a foreigner transforms the exchange of eroticism and emotion at a prostitution ranch. A prospecting hermit discovers the limits of his rugged individualism when he tries to rescue an abused teenager. Decades after she led her best friend into a degrading encounter in a Vegas hotel room, a woman feels the aftershock. Most bravely of all, Watkins takes on - and reinvents - her own troubled legacy in a story that emerges from the mayhem and destruction of Helter Skelter. Arcing from the sweeping and sublime to the minute and personal, from Hold Rush to ghost town to desert to brothel, the collection exhoes not only in its title but also in its fierce, undefeated spirit the motto of her home state.
"Claire Vaye Watkins has apparently sprung fully formed into the narrow pantheon of young writers willing to take narrative risks, eschewing trend and style for depth and wisdom. Entering the varied lives [of her characters] is akin to watching a tightrope walker high overhead, moving with steady confidence without a net." (signature review) - Chris Offutt 05/07/2012 "Readers will share in the environs of the author and her characters, be taken into the hardship of a pitiless place and emerge on the other side--wiser, warier and weathered like the landscape." - Antonya Nelson 09/23/2012