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Book Title: The Heaven of Mercury|
The author of the book: Brad Watson
Edition: W. W. Norton
Date of issue: August 1st 2002
ISBN 13: 9780393047578
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 439 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.9
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Finus Bates has loved chatty, elegant Birdie Wells ever since he saw her cartwheel naked through the woods near the backwater town of Mercury, Mississippi, in 1917. Having “caught hold of some loose line in her that would attach itself to stray wildness” and never let go, he’s loved her for some eighty years: through their marriages to other people, through the mysterious early death of Birdie’s womanizing husband, Earl, and through all the poisonous accusations against Birdie by Earl’s no-good relatives. All during Mercury’s evolution from a sleepy backwater to a small city, Finus (reporter, radio host, and obit writer) has aimed to have the last word on its inhabitants, from obsequious undertaker Parnell Grimes to Euple Scarbrough, local encyclopedia of useless knowledge, and Vish, a real oldtime medicine woman. But ever loyal to Birdie, Finus won’t rush to unravel the mystery of her husband’s untimely passing—not until Birdie herself has entered Mercury’s heaven.
A gorgeous portrayal of lifelong friendship, restless passion, marital discord accommodation, aging and remembrance, death and afterlife, The Heaven of Mercury is inscribed in prose so eerily fine it is one of life’s true pleasures.
Early readers have compared Watson to William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, and Eudora Welty, and such distinguished ghosts surely grace this book. But there aren’t really any comparisons—earthy, inspired, twisted, funny, moving, and transcendent, Watson’s work is something not seen before.
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Brad Watson teaches creative writing at the University of Wyoming, Laramie. His first collection, Last Days of the Dog-Men, won the Sue Kauffman Award for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts & Letters; his first novel, The Heaven of Mercury, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and his Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
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