Announcing our 2021 Award Winners and Top 20 Books of the Year

Brad Watson biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Brad Watson
Photo: Neil Hanley

Brad Watson

Brad Watson Biography

Brad Watson was an award-winning author and director of the University of Wyoming's creative writing program. He published four books, including his 2010 short story collection, Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives, which was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction; The Heaven of Mercury (2002), a National Book Award finalist; Last Days of the Dog-Men: Stories (1996), which won the Academy of Arts and Letters award for first fiction; and Miss Jane: A Novel (2016), longlisted for the National Book Award. He died in July 2020 aged 64.



This bio was last updated on 07/14/2020. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Interview

Brad Watson discusses his novel Miss Jane and the woman who inspired it, his great-aunt who suffered from the same birth defect as his character.

Miss Jane is based on your great-aunt who suffered from the same genital birth defect as your main character. What was your great-aunt's condition?

As was common in her day (she actually lived from 1888–1975, but it applies to my Jane's day and time, too), no one really talked about it. And so no one alive by the time I came into the world really knew "what was wrong with Aunt Jane." Her name wasn't really Jane, by the way. She was Mary Ellis Clay, and my mother didn't even know how she came to be called Jane. "Jane" is not on her gravestone. In any case, one of the more difficult parts of my research was figuring out what her condition may have been. I had little to go on: her known incontinence, and a late discovery that she had only one opening for the elimination of waste, which led me down a long path of crossing out this and that possibility. Based on those two facts, and some things I learned doing research, and the fact that she lived a long and apparently otherwise healthy life, I finally decided she probably had something called "persistent cloaca," a rare condition that occurs only in females and only in about 1 in 20,000–25,000 births. To simplify, there are no external genitalia, and ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Brad Watson at BookBrowse
Miss Jane jacket Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Brad Watson but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Rabih Alameddine

    Rabih Alameddine

    Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels An Unnecessary Woman; I, the Divine; Koolaids; The Hakawati; The Wrong End of the Telescope; and the story collection, The Perv. In 2019, he won the Dos Passos Prize. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Miss Jane

    Try:
    An Unnecessary Woman
    by Rabih Alameddine

  • Laurel D. Huber

    Laurel D. Huber

    Laurel Davis Huber was born in Milton, Massachusetts, and grew up in Rhode Island and Oklahoma. She is a graduate of Smith College. She has worked as a corporate newsletter editor, communications director for a botanical ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Miss Jane

    Try:
    The Velveteen Daughter
    by Laurel D. Huber

We recommend 7 similar authors

View all 7 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: The Lincoln Highway
    The Lincoln Highway
    by Amor Towles
    Voted 2021 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Things look bleak for Emmett ...
  • Book Jacket: The Code Breaker
    The Code Breaker
    by Walter Isaacson
    Voted 2021 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    What makes humans human? It's ...
  • Book Jacket: Firekeeper's Daughter
    Firekeeper's Daughter
    by Angeline Boulley
    Voted 2021 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Angeline Boulley's young adult ...
  • Book Jacket
    A Million Things
    by Emily Spurr
    Voted 2021 Best Debut Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Our First Impressions reviewers were...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Beasts of a Little Land
    by Juhea Kim

    An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement.

Win This Book!
Win Taste Makers

Taste Makers
by Mayukh Sen

America's modern culinary history told through the lives of seven pathbreaking chefs and food writers.

Enter

Wordplay

The Big Holiday Wordplay

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.