Exceptional tales of emancipation and evolution at the birth of the modern era. Winner of US National Book Award.
’Andrea Barrett’s work stands out for its sheer intelligence. The overall effect is quietly dazzling.’ New York Times
Set against the backdrop of the nineteenth century, this elegant collection of stories take their impulse from the world of science. Interweaving historical and fictional characters, they illuminate the secret passions of those driven by a devotion to, and an intimate acquaintance with, the natural world.
’Barrett’s stories fascinate…she pulls us into them as into fast-moving water.’ San Francisco Chronicle
’Beautiful stories about the wonder and work of science. The title novella describes the horrors of typhus in the newly arrived Irish immigrants to Quebec, and suggests that, in epidemics, medicine is more a piece of politics than a form of science. In Barrett’s hands, science is transformed from hard and known fact into malleable, strange and thrilling fictional material.’ Boston Globe
’An extraordinary story collection. Barrett blends a sure grasp of the history and method of science into each of her evocative tales.’ Chicago Tribune
’Many of these stories are set in the late nineteenth century, the adolescence of modern science. Barrett’s women are often scoffed at for their love of learning. Some try to use science as a currency with which to buy acceptance in a male-dominated world. But no character relates only to his or her work. Barrett builds her fictions like stones thrown into prose ponds: science is the stone, while human dramas, personal and social, are the concentric rings that radiate beautifully outward.’ Newsday