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Ship fever by Andrea Barrett

Ship fever (original 1996; edition 1996)

by Andrea Barrett (Author)

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1,1382111,664 (4.14)96
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).… (more)
Title:Ship fever
Authors:Andrea Barrett (Author)
Info:London: Norton (1996)
Collections:Physical Copy, Your library, Read All Time, Read in 2020
Tags:English Literature, Canadian Literature, Stories

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Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett (1996)

Recently added bykarlgalle, sunwords, jobinsonlis, Phyllis.Mann, Bard94526, hivetrick, jordanjones, private library

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» See also 96 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
I'm not quite sure how this won the National Book Award. While some of the stories, with their fluid grace of prose, were appealing-- most of them were stop and start endeavors. Additionally, the stories did not seemed resolved at their end and it seemed like musings and considerations on the nature of scientific breakthroughs, their implications, and those surroundings it rather than good content material. This may have been the intent, but this was a miss for me.

2 stars. ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 2, 2019 |
The idea of interweaving science/medicine intp aseries of short stories was intriguing but I was bit disappointed. ( )
  ghefferon | Feb 13, 2019 |
Barrett shines at the novel & the longer story. These briefer for the most part stories don't offer the same satisfaction as those of Servants of the Map or Voyage of the Narwhal. The title story is the best of the lot. ( )
  Paulagraph | May 25, 2014 |
This is a very lovely, well written group of stories. I enjoyed them a great deal. Each story in this collection shares a theme in that each gives a glimpse into the life of a scientist, focusing more on their humanity than on their scientific discoveries. Barrett’s stories touch on Mendel, Wallace, Linnaeus, Darwin, and others. Most times, when we learn about the famous scientists of the past, all we are taught is an equation. Or a theory. Or a law. Maybe some dates for context. This always bothered me a little bit when I was in class. Sometimes I’d wonder about these people and the conditions that they lived in that allowed/forced them to come up with their great ideas. Barrett seems to have had similar feelings. By extensively researching these scientists and the times/surroundings that they were immersed in, and mixing in her prodigious writin’ skills, she was able to produce stories that had both a very high degree of authenticity/realism and were a delight to read.

For the rest of this review, you can click on this link, if you want to --> http://andrewhideo.com/2014/01/29/a-book-review-ship-fever-by-andrea-barrett/ ( )
  andrewreads | Feb 11, 2014 |
Brilliant. Understated, disturbing and very well-written. The stories are infused with science and scientific theories but it's the characters who linger after the book is closed. Highly recommended, and many thanks to Susann for leaving this on my to-read pile. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
A dark chill permeates the stories of Ship Fever, including those that take place in summer or in the tropics. It’s a seductive, bracing chill, one I’ll take over volumes of lush and sultry.
Ms. Barrett's narrative laboratory is stocked with a handsome array of equipment. She tells her stories through alternating voices, diaries, letters -- whatever seems to hint at the most promising results. Seen against a larger fictional landscape overpopulated with the sensational and affectless, her work stands out for its sheer intelligence, its painstaking attempt to discern and describe the world's configuration. The overall effect is quietly dazzling, like looking at handmade paper under a microscope.

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Andrea Barrettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barrett, Andreamain authorall editionsconfirmed
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For thirty years, until he retired, my husband stood each fall in front of his sophomore genetics class and passed out copies of Gregor Mendel's famous paper on the hybridization of edible peas.
His mind, which had once seemed to hold the whole world, had been occupied by a great dark lake that spread farther every day and around which he tiptoed gingerly. When he reached for facts they darted like minnows across the water and could only be captured by cunning or indirection.
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Average: (4.14)
1 3
2 8
2.5 2
3 21
3.5 19
4 84
4.5 18
5 82

W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393316009, 039303853X

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