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The Heaven of Mercury

WATSON, Brad

643 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1841955604 / ISBN 13: 9781841955605
Published by Norton, NY, 2002
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover
From Ken Lopez Bookseller, ABAA (Lopezbooks) (Hadley, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

The advance reading copy. Signed by the author. Fine in wrappers. Unless otherwise noted, our first editions are first printings. Bookseller Inventory # 916974

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Heaven of Mercury

Publisher: Norton, NY

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Softcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Finus Bates - reporter, radio host and obituary writer - aims to have the last word on Mercury's inhabitants: from obsequious undertaker Parnell Grimes to Euple Scarbrough, local encyclopaedia of useless knowledge. Loyal to elegant Birdie Wells for 80 years, Finus won't rush to unravel the mystery of her husband's death - not until Birdie herself has entered Mercury's heaven. Magnificently written, this is a sumptuous portrayal of lifelong friendship, restless passion, marital discord, aging and transcendence.

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

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