Cymru Roberts's Reviews > Battleborn

Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
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's review
Aug 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 20th-century-american
Read from August 15 to 22, 2012

In Battleborn we see the emergence of a new talent, Claire Vaye Watkins. She is the first author of my personal generation to offer glimpses into what could be a legendary career. She is also the only author I know of to write about Nevada and still keep things interesting. She has a gift for capturing the desolate landscape in a way that mirrors the vapid social scene as well as meaningful personal traumas.

With McCarthyan style she spins yarns full of nihilism and disappointment. Her fascinating personal life (her dad was in the Manson Family) is included but not in an exploitative way, and she carries that maturity into other subjects like losing a loved one or feeling betrayed by a friend. A beautiful breeze of melancholy permeates the different tales. They are heartfelt and real. There is also a strikingly female perspective to the issues her characters face, a perspective that was eye-opening for me and at times viscerally frightening.

Hopefully she continues to release her work; I'd love to see what a novel of hers would be like.

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