Since his award-winning debut collection of stories, Last Days of the Dog-Men, Brad Watson has been expanding the literary traditions of the South in work as melancholy, witty, strange, and lovely as any in America. Drawing on the true story of his great-aunt, he explores the life of Miss Jane Chisolm, born in rural, early-twentieth-century Mississippi with a genital birth defect that excludes her from the roles traditional for a woman of her time and place and frees her to live her life as she pleases. With irrepressible vitality and generosity of spirit, Miss Jane mesmerizes those around her, exerting an unearthly fascination that lives beyond her still.
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An exceptionally well written book. The prose was beautiful and the novel had a gentleness about it...I loved this book for its simplicity and would highly recommend it.--Meredith Kelly
A well-written portrait of a person whose rich inner life outstrips the limits of her body.
[Jane's] fearless acceptance of what sets her apart is profoundly human, and her lifelong struggle to understand her place in the world reflects the intricate workings of our own mysterious hearts.--Gina Webb
As Watson arcs through the story of Jane's life in sensitive, beautifully precise prose, we are both absorbed and humbled.
Watson has done something extraordinary here. This is not grit-lit...But it is Southern literature, nevertheless: fresh, new, without cliché. Watson may be our best.-- (07/12/2016)