Brad Watson The Heaven of Mercury

ISBN 13: 9780393047578

The Heaven of Mercury

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9780393047578: The Heaven of Mercury
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A dark, riotous Southern novel of sex, death, and transformation. Brad Watson's first novel has been eagerly awaited since his breathtaking, award-winning debut collection of short stories, Last Days of the Dog-Men. Here, he fulfills that literary promise with a humorous and jaundiced eye. Finus Bates has loved Birdie Wells since the day he saw her do a naked cartwheel in the woods in 1916. Later he won her at poker, lost her, then nearly won her again after the mysterious poisoning of her womanizing husband. Does Vish, the old medicine woman down in the ravine, hold the key to Birdie's elusive character? Or does Parnell, the town undertaker, whose unspeakable desires bring lust for life and death together? Or does the secret lie with some other colorful old-timer in Mercury, Mississippi, not such a small town anymore? A potent cocktail of Southern gothic and classical mythology, this is a novel only Brad Watson could have written—an unforgettable portrait of the most romantic aspirations and most twisted inclinations of the bleak and lovely human heart.

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Review:

Brad Watson's The Heaven of Mercury brings fresh, sly humor to the traditionally dark genre of Southern gothic. It's the story of the small town of Mercury, Mississippi, told through the lives of various inhabitants, including a white man, Finus, and his lifelong love, Birdie; and a black girl, Creasie, and her Aunt Vish--slave descendants who see Mercury as the zone of their captivity. All over Mercury, characters dream about moments in the past when they wish they'd had the courage to change the course of their lives. Watson’s (Last Days of the Dog-Men) ornate, lush prose will remind readers of Faulkner, but he has a much lighter touch. Mercury is a sad world of violent drunks, unpunished crimes, and unrequited love, but Watson’s wry observations work to dispel the gloom (a strict Christian woman wears "a tight brown bun in her hair like an onion God drew forth from her mind"). The Heaven of Mercury is an ambitious work from an important voice in American fiction--a voice with a distinctly Southern accent. --Ellen Williams

About the Author:

Brad Watson is the author of Last Days of the Dog-Men, winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Foley, Alabama.

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Brad Watson
Published by W. W. Norton (2002)
ISBN 10: 0393047571 ISBN 13: 9780393047578
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Book Description W. W. Norton, 2002. Soft cover. Condition: New. 1st Edition. A dark, riotous Southern novel of sex, death, and transformation. Brad Watson's first novel has been eagerly awaited since his breathtaking, award-winning debut collection of short stories, Last Days of the Dog-Men. Here, he fulfills that literary promise with a humorous and jaundiced eye. Finus Bates has loved Birdie Wells since the day he saw her do a naked cartwheel in the woods in 1916. Later he won her at poker, lost her, then nearly won her again after the mysterious poisoning of her womanizing husband. Does Vish, the old medicine woman down in the ravine, hold the key to Birdie's elusive character? Or does Parnell, the town undertaker, whose unspeakable desires bring lust for life and death together? Or does the secret lie with some other colorful old-timer in Mercury, Mississippi, not such a small town anymore? A potent cocktail of Southern gothic and classical mythology, this is a novel only Brad Watson could have writtenan unforgettable portrait of the most romantic aspirations and most twisted inclinations of the bleak and lovely human heart. Seller Inventory # ABE-1508689744637

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