Miss Jane: A Novel (Paperback)

Miss Jane: A Novel By Brad Watson Cover Image

Miss Jane: A Novel (Paperback)

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(Fiction)

July 2016 Indie Next List


“At first, I was uncomfortable reading about the life Jane Chisolm has to lead due to a genital birth defect and assumed that I would be sad for her throughout the book, but this is so beautifully written and unsentimental in its depiction of Jane's quiet strength and courageous acceptance of her life that I fell in love with her quite quickly. While all the supporting characters have their own peculiarities, they are tender and endearing to Jane and that helped me to understand how she endured and was loved so fully. Everyone should read this extraordinary book and feel, as I did, the joy of this remarkable woman.”
— Nancy Banks (E), City Stacks Books and Coffee, Denver, CO

Longlisted for the National Book Award and a Washington Post Best Book of the Year



"Gorgeous…A writer of profound emotional depths." —New York Times Book Review


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.



Brad Watson (1955–2020) was the author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Heaven of Mercury and Miss Jane, and two collections of stories, Last Days of the Dog-Men and Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives. His work has been recognized by the short list and long list of the National Book Award, the International Dublin Literary Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Great Lakes New Writers Award, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Fiction (twice), the Southern Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction, a National Endowment of the Arts Grant in Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Harper Lee Award, and the Award in Letters granted by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He taught creative writing at Harvard University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Wyoming, Laramie.
Product Details ISBN: 9780393354386
ISBN-10: 0393354385
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: July 11th, 2017
Pages: 304
Language: English
Watson infuses the story with curiosity, uncertainty, and, not unlike Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex, a certain wildness.

— Aditi Sriram - Washington Post

This is a pine knot of a novel, hard and durable, and the sap it leaches is mercy.
— Jonathan Miles - Garden and Gun

A story worth telling even as it breaks your heart.
— Amy Brady - Chicago Review of Books

[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 - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Miss Jane is an especially timely novel for right now, when so much of our turmoil is dependent on how we view the Other, whether it be because of race, sexuality, religion, or where someone was born. It’s also a novel that thrums with beauty, melancholy, and desire.

— Silas House - Salon

Miss Jane is one of the quieter, more beautiful books I’ve read in years…Set in rural Mississippi, it’s a story of an isolated woman who makes meaning and finds beauty in her circumscribed world.

— Emily Nemens, author of The Cactus League

Exquisitely written. Miss Jane is an artistic triumph, a novel that will linger inside you as long as your own memories do. Brad Watson’s gifts are immense.

— Andre Dubus III, author of Dirty Love

I want to state this as clearly as I can: I believe Miss Jane to be a masterpiece of American literature. It is as remarkable as any book to ever come out of the South.

— M.O. Walsh - The Paris Review

As Watson arcs through the story of Jane’s life in sensitive, beautifully precise prose, we are both absorbed and humbled.
— Library Journal (starred review)

A well-written portrait of a person whose rich inner life outstrips the limits of her body.
— Kirkus Reviews