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Andrea Barrett (born November 16, 1954) is an American writer. Her Ship Fever collection of novella and short stories won the National Book Award in 1996. Barrett received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001, and her book Servants of the Map was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Early life and education

Barrett earned a B.A. in biology from Union Collegemarker and briefly attended a Ph.D. program in zoology.

Career

Barrett began writing fiction seriously in her thirties, but was relatively unknown until the publication of Ship Fever. The collection of novella and short stories won the National Book Award in 1996. Barrett received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001. Her novel Servants of the Map, related to exploration of the Arctic, was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Barrett is particularly well known as a writer of historical fiction. Her work reflects her lifelong interest in science, and women in science. Many of her characters are scientists, often 19th-century biologists.

Barrett teaches at Williams College in Massachusettsmarker and in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers in North Carolinamarker. She was a fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Librarymarker. She lives in North Adams, Massachusettsmarker.

As in the work of William Faulkner, some of her characters have appeared in more than one story or novel. In an appendix to her recent novel, The Air We Breathe (2007), Barrett supplied a family tree, making clear the characters' relationships that began in Ship Fever. Although each novel and story is self-contained, the reader comprehends an added dimension when familiar with the characters' previous histories.

Bibliography

  • (1988) Lucid Stars (novel)
  • (1989) Secret Harmonies (novel)
  • (1991) The Middle Kingdom (novel)
  • (1993) The Forms of Water (novel)
  • (1996) Ship Fever (collection of short stories) - 1996 National Book Award Winner
  • (1998) The Voyage of the Narwhal (novel)
  • (2002) Servants of the Map (collection of short stories) - 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Finalist
  • (2007) The Air We Breathe (novel)


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