Ship Fever and Other Stories by Andrea Barrett

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1996 National Book Award Winner for Fiction.

The elegant short fictions gathered hereabout the love of science and the science of love are often set against the backdrop of the nineteenth century. Interweaving historical and fictional characters, they encompass both past and present as they negotiate the complex territory of ambition, failure, achievement, and shattered dreams. In "Ship Fever," the title novella, a young Canadian doctor finds himself at the center of one of history's most tragic epidemics. In "The English Pupil," Linnaeus, in old age, watches as the world he organized within his head slowly drifts beyond his reach. And in "The Littoral Zone," two marine biologists wonder whether their life-altering affair finally was worth it. In the tradition of Alice Munro and William Trevor, these exquisitely rendered fictions encompass whole lives in a brief space. As they move between interior and exterior journeys, "science is transformed from hard and known fact into malleable, strange and thrilling fictional material" (Boston Globe).

About Andrea Barrett

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Andrea Barrett was born on July 17, 1965. She has taught in the M.F.A. program for writers at Warren Wilson College, and has been a visiting writer at several other colleges and universities, as well as teaching frequently at conferences such as the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Barrett was also a juror for the 1998 O. Henry awards for short stories. Barrett received the Distinguished Story Citation from Best American Short Stories in 1995 for The Littoral Zone and the National Book Award in 1996 for the short story collection Ship Fever and Other Stories. She is a recipient of a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. Scientific discovery is a theme in several of Barrett's short stories, as well as in her 1998 novel The Voyage of the Narwhal. However, another type of discovery often takes place as her characters struggle to overcome unhappiness by coming to a better understanding of themselves and of life in general. Her other novels include Lucid Stars, Secret Harmonies, The Middle Kingdom, and The Forms of Water. Barrett also contributes short fiction to periodicals such as Mademoiselle and Prairie Schooner. Andrea Barrett resides in Rochester, New York.
Published November 17, 1996 by W. W. Norton & Company. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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 A brilliant first collection of stories—many set in the historical past, and all concerning varieties of scientific pursuit and discovery—by the author of such well-received novels as The Middle Kingdom (1991) and The Forms of Water (1993).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Ship Fever and Other Stories

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