Check out Brad's new book, ALIENS IN THE PRIME OF THEIR LIVES

Brad Watson's stories worm their way through you. Watson's talent is singular, truly awesome; he reminds me of Raymond Carver, Flannery O'Connor, Chris Offutt in his bravery, his unflinching willingness to look at what might set others running. And yet these are not exactly dark stories - that is part of their magic, they are infused with an uncanny beauty in which, even at the most god-awful moments, something is salvaged."


BRAD'S book tour: past and upcoming READINGS, RADIO/TV INTERVIEWS


Hi. Brad has scheduled a few readings during the coming fall and spring. Here's what's set up for now:

Arizona State University


Thursday, September 9

Virginia C. Piper Center for Creative Writing

7:45 p.m.

Escape to Create Fall Writers Conference

Rosemary Beach Town Hall, Rosemary Beach, FL

September 22-25

Brad reads with John Dufresne on Friday, September 24 @ 6:30

Southern Festival of Books

Nashville, TN

October 8-10

Assumption College

Worcester, MA

October 21

Time TBA


Clemson University

Clemson, SC

Reading with Keith Lee Morris (Sam, are you reading, too?)

October 28, Time TBA

Arcadia College

Philadelphia, PA

March 25 @ TBA

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK

March 31 @ 7:00

Here's a list of readings/signings that were on the spring 2010 hardcover book tour:

Birmingham, AL Alabama Public Television ALABAMA BOOKSMITH "Bookmark"

Monday, March 29 Interview

6:00 P.M.

Memphis, TN WYPL-FM (Memphis)


Tuesday, March 30 Interview

5:30 P.M.

Oxford, MS WREG-TV (Memphis)

SQUARE BOOKS News Channel 3

Wednesday, March 31 Live Interview

5:00 P.M. 9:00 A.M.

Greenwood, MS WMPN-FM (Jackson)

TURNROW BOOKS "Mississippi Edition"

Thursday, April 1 Interview

5:30 P.M.

Jackson, MS WMPN-TV (Jackson)

LEMURIA BOOKS "Don't Lecture Me web show"

Friday, April 2 Interview

5:00 P.M.

Gailsburg, IL WLBT-TV (CBS, Jackson)

KNOX COLLEGE "Midday Mississippi"

Friday, April 16 Live interview, 12:30 P.M.

Denver, CO


Monday, April 19

7:30 P.M.

Fresno, CA


Thursday, April 22

Laramie, WY


Sunday, April 25

2:00 P.M.

Santa Monica, CA


Canal Club

1310 11th Street

Venice, CA

Contact: Cedering Fox



Philip Baker Hall (Magnolia) performing Ron Carlson, Cassidy Freeman (Smallville) performing Aimee Bender, and Nicki Micheaux (Lincoln Heights) performing Brad's story "Vacuum"

Sunday May 2

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

This is an event sponsored by PEN USA

Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door

Los Angeles

Monday May

7:30 p.m.


1818 N. Vermont Avenue

(between Hollywood Blvd. & Franklin)

Los Angeles, CA

Laramie, WY

Saturday May 8

11:00 a.m.


University Union

Signing with colleagues in the UW MFA Program

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Good Fortune(s)

"Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives" has been fortunate to be short-listed for two great awards this year. It was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award in Fiction (won by Deborah Eisenberg for her unbeatable, wonderful Collected Stories). And now "Aliens" has been short-listed for the relatively new but very fine and prestigious award, The St. Francis College Literary Award, first won in 2009 by Aleksandar Hemon, one of my favorite writers and among the best we have writing in the USA today. The competition among those books on the shortlist is formidable enough so that I'll just say it's a great honor to be considered for this new and generous award. Thank you to the judges, and to St. Francis College.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Santa Barbara News-Press Review

REVIEW FROM HERE : Otherworldly beauty found in 'Aliens'
Yunte Huang
April 11, 2010

ALIENS IN THE PRIME OF THEIR LIVES: STORIES Fiction By Brad Watson W. W. Norton & Co., $23.95
A celebrated author whose first novel, "The Heaven of Mercury" (2002), was a finalist for the National Book Award, Brad Watson reasserts his stature as one of the most talented writers today with his new collection of stories, "Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives." It is indeed hard to identify the brand name of the potent magic in Mr. Watson's writing. One may say that it is a fusion of the haunting beauty of Southern Gothic, the hardboiled and wry humor of a Raymond Carver, and the unfathomable depth of a Primo Levi. But more likely, Mr. Watson is an innovator who is taking American letters to a new peak.

With a stunning cover and handsome design, this 268-page book contains 11 short stories and one novella, all rendered in utterly mesmerizing, limpid prose. In "Vacuum," three teenage brothers try to help their underappreciated, emotionally abused mother, but end up causing more trouble in a world of grown-ups they don't completely comprehend. "Are You Mr. Lonelee?," catching a lonely man in his moments of fantasy as he dozes off in a lawn chair with a flask in his lap, is an equally comedic piece laced with humor as dark and fleeting as the twilight after sunset. "Water Dog God" is a most disturbing, powerful story that deals with a man taking charge of the life of a sexually abused girl who wanders in the woods with a pack of stray dogs. In this jungle of life, this dark tale seems to suggest, there is only a thin layer that separates the worlds of dog and god (the two words being anagrams).

Mr. Watson's rare talent shines and dazzles whenever he dives deep into the lives of ordinary people and comes up, almost effortlessly, with buried treasures that have blessed and cursed humanity: broken dreams, unfulfilled desires, murderous intent, and so on. In "Visitation," for example, a divorced man travels long distance to visit his teenage son.
Under the spell of the writer's magic wand, a story of utterly mundane nature acquires mythological dimensions, as if everyone were Ulysses destined for a mindless odyssey, which brings no reward other than pain and ruins.
The book's title story, a novella about the troubles of two young lovers trying to cope with the rules of adulthood, mixes fantasy, realism, humor and sci-fi. It is the most elusive piece in the collection, showing the author at his most daring, or to paraphrase the title, in the prime of his artistic life. It encapsulates the otherworldly beauty of the entire collection, transfixing us all under the spotlight of that alien ship, which is the supreme craft of Mr. Watson's writing.

UCSB English Professor Yunte Huang is also a published author

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