Miss Jane: A Novel

Written by:
Brad Watson
Narrated by:
Tiffany Morgan

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
October 2016
9 hours 12 minutes
Astonishing prose brings to life a forgotten woman and a lost world in a strange and bittersweet Southern pastoral. 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. Now, drawing on the story of his own great-aunt, Watson explores the life of Miss Jane Chisolm, born in rural, early-twentieth-century Mississippi with a genital birth defect that would stand in the way of the central 'uses' for a woman in that time and place: sex and marriage. From the highly erotic world of nature around her to the hard tactile labor of farm life, from the country doctor who befriends her to the boy who loved but was forced to leave her, Miss Jane Chisolm and her world are anything but barren. The potency and implacable cruelty of nature, as well as its beauty, is a trademark of Watson's fiction. In Miss Jane, the author brings to life a hard, unromantic past that is tinged with the sadness of unattainable loves, yet shot through with a transcendent beauty. Jane Chisolm's irrepressible vitality and generous spirit give her the strength to live her life as she pleases in spite of the limitations that others, and her own body, would place on her. Free to satisfy only herself, she mesmerizes those around her, exerting an unearthly fascination that lives beyond her still.
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Cyn K.

Watson is an extraordinarily talented writer, and this book does not disappoint. Somehow, he is able to take very delicate subject matter and convey it clearly and beautifully without it being offensive or off-putting. Miss Jane is a beautiful story set in Watson's fictional Mercury, Mississippi, also the setting for his novel The Heaven of Mercury. I selected it upon news of Watson's untimely death and highly recommend all of his work. The narration was fine enough but there were some sentences that seemed to trip up the reader, causing her to slow down and read. each. word. rhythmically. with a syntax I don't think Watson intended. Just sounds awkward, but it doesn't happen often enough to make it a true concern.

Miss Jane: A Novel
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