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Brad Watson

Brad Watson is the author of the award-winning short-story collections Last Days of the Dog-Men and Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives. The novelist A.M. Holmes has compared Watson’s work to that of short story masters Flannery O’Connor and Raymond Carver. Following his debut collection, Watson’s lyric and haunting novel, The Heaven of Mercury, was a 2002 National Book Award Finalist.

In a 1997 radio discussion with Barry Hannah and Larry Brown, Watson suggests that he could have written the short story Last Days of the Dog-Men as a novel, “but it didn’t seem as if it would have the same energy.” It is this attention to the needs of the story that drive Watson’s changeability from long form to short. “Good stories upend me,” says Watson in a 2011 interview in Numéro Cinq. “They’re so powerful that they sift into your cellular life as if they’re transforming you. This is the real reason I do this.”

Watson’s short stories and essays appear in the New Yorker, Granta, the Oxford American, Ecotone, and elsewhere. His work has been anthologized in the PEN/O.Henry Prize Stories, New Stories from the South, and Best American Mystery Stories. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim fellowship. His story collection Last Days of the Dog-Men received the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and his novel The Heaven of Mercury received the Southern Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction. His collection Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives received an Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award in Fiction. Originally from Meridian, Mississippi, he lives in Laramie and teaches at the University of Wyoming.


Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives (2010)
The Heaven of Mercury (2002)
Last Days of the Dog-Men (1996)

Online Resources

Brad Watson’s Website
Letter from Wyoming (Granta)
Watson interviewed in the New Yorker