Lady Banks Bookshelf

Lady Banks Pick of the Week


Lady Banks Commonplace Book

The South has lost one of its most beautiful voices. Brad Watson, the quietly loved writer of The Heaven of Mercury and Miss Jane, died suddenly of a heart attack last week, leaving behind two novels, two short stories collections, and many heart-broken people.

Silas House, in his recent talk in the Reader Meet Writer Author series, spoke of Watson, who had been a mentor of his:

"I just think Miss Jane is one of the most beautiful American novels to come out in a long time. Brad Watson was just a brilliant writer and such a witty, great, generous person, and I'm just so glad I got to work with him."

Alane Mason, his editor at W. W. Norton, called Watson a writer "who wrote with the most extraordinary and profound awareness of the beautiful and cursed human body and its frailties" and offered a list of what he called "unmatchable and in some cases nearly unmentionable" moments in his work, including:

*best ever, anywhere, description of a dog barking outside a door
*ditto of a dog watching a streetlight change
*most horrific Southern barbecue
*worst marital argument, in which a man shoots himself in the foot to end it.

Admit it. "Most horrific Southern barbecue" is worth reading everything Watson ever wrote just to find it.

Read independently, support black-owned bookstores, and shop local now so you can shop local later.