First Sentence: You would not think someone so afflicted would or could be cheerful, not prone to melancholy or the miseries.
Back of the book:
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-twentieth-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.
From the country doctor who adopts Jane to the hard tactile labor of farm life, from the sensual and erotic world of nature around her to the boy who loved but was forced to leave her, the world of Miss Jane Chisolm is anything but barren. Free to satisfy only herself, she mesmerizes those around her, exerting an unearthly fascination that lives beyond her still.
Quote from the book:
He stood there until his eyes stopped leaking and dried themselves, stiffening trails down his cheeks he could feel tightening the skin. Such a mortal feeling, this small thing.
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Last Sentence: They stood very still, hushed, their gleaming black eyes fixed on her, white beaks open in a strange, alert anticipation.