see full interview and quote here: in L.A. Review of Books
interview by Natalie Villacorta who is interviewing Claire Vaye Watkins
FULL QUOTE GRAF:
WATKINS: ''I have noticed something that I call Schadenfreunia — the special kind of pleasure that you get at the misfortune of Californians. There’s almost a Puritan undertone to the way we talk about the water crisis. It’s almost as if California is our Italy and it’s like, “Those hedonists are finally getting what they deserve!” Or “So much for your paradise, we’ve all been suffering in the East with our horrible weather and our uptight dispositions.” Maybe I’m hypersensitive to it because I am an outsider. But I think the melancholy of being a writer is that you’re at your best when you’re an outsider. So I have spent a lot of time thinking about whether I really belong in the West. Am I a bona fide Westerner? What do I make of the fact that I’ve lived in the Eastern time zone for almost 10 years? But I think that’s why I write about the West, because I am an outsider. It’s from the periphery that we look in. But that always means that you have a fraught, conflicted relationship. You see this over and over again with writers — the thing that they’re best at writing about is the thing that they’re alienated from. ''