Ship Fever and Other Stories Andrea Barrett

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Hardcover

256 pages


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Ship Fever and Other Stories  by  Andrea Barrett

Ship Fever and Other Stories by Andrea Barrett
| Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 256 pages | ISBN: | 6.45 Mb

In 1764, two Englishwomen set out to prove that swallows--contrary to the great Linnaeuss belief--do not hibernate underwater. But they must be patient and experiment in secret, such actions being inappropriate for the female of the species. InMoreIn 1764, two Englishwomen set out to prove that swallows--contrary to the great Linnaeuss belief--do not hibernate underwater. But they must be patient and experiment in secret, such actions being inappropriate for the female of the species. In 1862, a hopeless naturalist heads off for yet another journey, though he cant seem to rid his conscience of the thousands of animals that have already died in his service.

In 1971, a pregnant young woman, ill at ease with her socially superior husband and his stepchildren, hears of a Tierra del Fuegan taken hostage by the commander of the Beagle in 1835. This unwilling specimen was, we read, captured, exiled, re-educated- then returned, abused by his family, finally re-accepted.

Was he happy? Or was he saying that as a way to spite his captors? Darwin never knew. Many of the characters who populate Andrea Barretts 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.

Barretts 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 Barretts 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



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