Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop, California in 1984. She was raised in the Mojave Desert, in Tecopa, California and Pahrump, Nevada. A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, Claire earned her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a Presidential Fellow. She is the author of the novel Gold Fame Citrus and the short story collection Battleborn, which won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.
Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta, Tin House, Freeman’s, The Paris Review, Story Quarterly, New American Stories, Best of the West, The New Republic, The New York Times, Pushcart Prize XLIII and many others. A Guggenheim Fellow, one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” and among Granta's "Best Young American Novelists," Claire is also the co-founder and director of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop in the Mojave Desert.