Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010
Stories by Brad Watson W. W. Norton & Co. (Hardcover: $19.00, ISBN: 0393039269, 4/1996; Delta Paperback, $9.95, ISBN: 0385318278, 8/1997) Frequently portrayed as beer-guzzling, duck-shooting, wife-beating bigots, Southern white men don't catch much of a break these days. Yet in Last Days of the Dog-Men, Brad Watson manages to portray this much-maligned beast with empathy and insight. Equally important, he also manages to make clear the importance of their dogs―an importance that can cut both ways. In the title story, for example, a man has an affair that's consummated in the foam-rubber pole-vault pad at the local playing field. When his wife finds out, she gets even the surest way she knows how, by having his dog put to sleep. Watson, in precise and beautiful prose, writes about people and dogs―dogs as companions, as accomplices, and as unwitting victims of human passions―and people responding to dogs as missing parts or reflections of themselves. In each of these stories he captures the animal crannies of the human personality―yearning for freedom and mourning the loss of something wild.