Miss Jane

Longlist, National Book Awards 2016 for Fiction

Miss Jane, by Brad Watson, 2016
ISBN 9780393241730
W. W. Norton & Company
Brad Watson author photo, credit: Elizabeth Love, 2016
Brad Watson

Brad Watson teaches creative writing at the University of Wyoming, Laramie. His first collection, Last Days of the Dog-Men, won the Sue Kauffman Award for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts & Letters; his first novel, The Heaven of Mercury, was a finalist for the National Book Award. More about this author >

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Drawing on the story of his own great-aunt, Brad 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 – namely, 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 Jane to the boy who loved but was forced to leave her, the world of Miss Jane Chisolm is anything but barren. Free to satisfy only herself, she mesmerizes those around her, exerting an unearthly fascination that lives beyond her still.

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