Released on 03 November 2016.

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Miss Jane

3.95 based on 2653 ratings & 528 reviews on

2017 Long-listed

The Wellcome Trust Book Prize


'As unexpectedly beguiling as it is affecting.' Daily Mail

Since his award-winning debut collection of stories, Last Days of the Dog-Men, Brad Watson's work has been as melancholy, witty, strange, and lovely as any in America. Inspired by the true story of his own great-aunt, he 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 country doctor who adopts Jane to the hard tactile labor of farm life, from the sensual and erotic world of nature around her 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.

In the media

Brad Watson's eloquently homespun second novel, Miss Jane . . . His 'country folk' are complex and vulnerable, their stoicism and outer coldness a response to events beyond their control... [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.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Brad Watson’s Miss Jane; a bittersweet southern pastoral, the story of a forgotten woman written with unearthly beauty. If Raymond Carver and Flannery O’Connor had a child, it would be Brad Watson
Watson tells this story with such tenderness, sensitivity and grace, at times I just wanted to weep . . . a beautiful novel. A writing teacher at the University of Wyoming, Watson says he based it on the life of one of his great aunts, and went through thirty drafts to get it right. He did.
Seattle Times