Drawing on the story of his own great-aunt, Watson explores the life of Miss Jane Chisolm, born in rural, early-20th-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: 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 her to the boy who loved but was forced to leave her, Miss Jane Chisolm and her world are anything but barren.
"A Love Bird, Simply Superb"
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 20th-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.