Middle East
Fortune struck for these Syrian migrants, but can they make it in California?

William T. Vollmann

California and the literature of water

California and the literature of water

On a recent visit to New York, I found myself in a conversation with an East Coast writer about William T. Vollmann’s “Imperial” — a monumental study of water politics and Southern California’s Imperial County — when he said, “I’m so sick of you Californians and your obsession with water. When will you get over it?”

The answer, of course, is never. The other answer is: Just wait. Water as resource, water as political and conservational hot button … it’s coming for you.

I couldn’t help recalling this as I read Steven Johnson’s terrific piece