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Ship Fever: Stories Paperback – November 17, 1996
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Many of the characters who populate Andrea Barrett's National Book Award-winning collection, Ship Fever, feel similarly displaced in the world. They long to prove themselves in both science and love, but are often thwarted by gender, social position, or the prevailing order. In "The Behavior of the Hawkweeds," the wife of a genetics professor has learned that each narrative of discovery is matched by one, if not more, "in which science is not just unappreciated, but bent by loneliness and longing." Barrett's astonishing tales of ambition and isolation convey the meaning and feeling behind the patterns--scientific and emotional--but slip free of easy closure. The two women in "Rare Bird," like the swallows, depart England for more conducive climes, or so the brother of one believes. The reader is left to hope, and imagine. Much has been made of Andrea Barrett's interlacing of history, knowledge, and fact--and rightly so. But equal attention should be paid to the brilliant serenity and exactitude of her style. --Kerry Fried --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
in her collection SHIP FEVER, entitled "The Behaviour of the
Hawkweeds" in BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES. ...
In her other tales
in this collection, Barret explores experiences and perspecives associated
with science and medicine in the 19th century. One tale "Sorache"
describes the terrible consequences of a treatment for altitude sickness on
a pregnant tourist. In "Birds With No Feet" a young naturalist
realizes his love of nature and his scientific exploits are on a deadly
My second favorite story (after Hawkweeds) is the eponymous
tale "Ship Fever." I could relate to this tale because my great-
grandmother Anna Mary immigrated from Genderalden Bavaria in the 1850s to
Chicago, where the members of her family were struck down by Cholera. Of her
family--father, mother, four brothers and herself--only Anna Mary and
one brother survived. In "Ship Fever" Barrett recounts the
terrible effects of Cholera on the immigrant ships....
These are wonderful
and moving stories. Barrett enlightens us about life in the 19th Century,
where science promised so much while simultaneously introducing a new world
of pain and terror.