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Weird and Tragic Shores
Chauncey C. Loomis
037575525X
Apr 2000
Paperback
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Review
"Fascinating."--The Boston Globe

"Spellbinding."--Library Journal

"One of the best Arctic narratives ever written."--David Roberts

Review
"Fascinating."--The Boston Globe

"Spellbinding."--Library Journal

"One of the best Arctic narratives ever written."--David Roberts

See all Editorial Reviews


Servants of the Map
Andrea Barrett
0641583230

Hardcover
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Voyage of the Narwhal
Andrea Barrett
0393319504
August 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
In Andrea Barrett's extraordinary novel of Arctic and personal exploration, maps are deceitful, ice all-powerful, and reputation more important than truth or human lives. When the Narwhal sets sail from Philadelphia in May 1855, its ostensible goal is to find the crew of a long-vanished expedition--or at least their relics--and be home before winter. Of course, if the men can chart new coasts and stock up on specimens en route, so much the better. And then there's the keen prospect of selling their story, fraught with danger and discovery, to a public thirsting for excitement. Zeke Voorhees, the Narwhal's young commander, is so handsome that he makes women stare and men "hum with envy"--perhaps not the best qualification for his post--but he seems loved by all. Only his brother-in-law-to-be, a naturalist, quietly mistrusts...


Ship Fever: Stories
Andrea Barrett
0393316009
November 1996
Paperback
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Book Review
In 1764, two Englishwomen set out to prove that swallows--contrary to the great Linnaeus's 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 can't 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." ...


Lucid Stars
Andrea Barrett
0385319436
Jan 1997
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Delta Fiction's fine debut is marked by a quietly charming, seductive first novel whose author launches a career that promises to be as bright as the constellations that inform these pages. The dynamics of the modern broken home and the complex relationships engendered by divorce and remarriage are limned here with rare sensitivity and insight. The agile Barrett convincingly relates the story from the diverse perspectives of two mothers and two daughters. In her skilled hands, a 23-year time span is credible and the star motif never stales. Penny finds solace, self-affirmation and freedom in astronomy, and her strength and passion bolster her ex-husband Ben's second family, whom he eventually abandons for a third. Her daughter Cass, wounded and confused by her parents' divorce and her father's incapacity to love,...


The Needle's Eye
Margaret Drabble
0641660898

Paperback
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Ship Fever
Andrea Barrett
039303853X
Jan 1996
Hardcover
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Book Review
In 1764, two Englishwomen set out to prove that swallows--contrary to the great Linnaeus's 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 can't 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." ...


The Story behind the Story: 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and how They Work
Peter Turchi (Editor)
0393325326
December 2003
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Though students of literature or writing are often told to stick to the text-to avoid guessing at authorial intention and process-the dictum doesn't squelch their curiosity. Fledgling writers, especially, wonder how the pros get the job done, where they find their inspiration and how they can tap into those creative wells. This rich anthology, which offers shrewd insight into writers' approaches-thereby sating our desires for their secrets while validating our own eccentric quirks-reassures all lovers of good writing that there is no one correct way to craft a good tale. The contributors, all recent faculty members at the Warren Wilson Program for Writers in Swannanoa, N.C., offer model short stories followed by informal mini-essays on how they came to fruition. Antonya Nelson credits the seedling of "Strike...


The Best American Essays 2005
Robert Atwan (Editor)
0618357130
September 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Author and New Yorker staff writer Orlean (The Orchid Thief) says in her introduction that the best essays are not mere records of a subject but are, rather, extraordinary accounts that "reflect the thinking and emotions of the writer." While many (perhaps too many) of the 25 essays here come from the New Yorker, small magazines are represented, and the writing is anything but conventional. Each work pulls the reader deep into the author's world; each is a remarkable first-person account of a life. Only one, Mark Greif's sharp rant "Against Exercise," deviates from this form. Food is a recurring theme. E.J. Levy remembers his mother by way of the romantic Julia Child meals she prepared while he was growing up. David Foster Wallace details everything the reader could possibly want to know about the lobster. Other...


The Fountain Overflows (New York Review Books Classics)
Rebecca West
1590170342
December 2002
Paperback
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From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Jesse Larsen
Rose, the youngest daughter and perceptive narrator of The Fountain Overflows, is a mildly fictional, youthful Rebecca West. In early 1900s London, Papa, misunderstood writer and never-successful politician, goes away - again - to earn money. The children stay very busy being young, trying hard to respect, reconcile, and live with Mamma's tradition of genteel Englishness and Papa's foolishness while their worrisome - and embarrassing - poverty deepens. Mamma is discouraged but brave, "a nerve-jerked woman" able to "straighten her shoulders and cock her hat and assume the character of a smart and undefeated woman." A concert pianist turned wife and mother, she makes music a constant for her children. Rose and Mary play the piano; Cordelia performs on the violin "with the air...


The Widow's Children
Paula Fox
0393319636
Oct 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
First published in 1976, The Widow's Children, with its unpalatable family wistfully gnashing at one another, has long defied critical description. Now that it's been rereleased, with a fine new introduction by Andrea Barrett, it's time again for readers to approach this spare--yet unsparing--novel. Approach with something like terror, or at least a tremulous respect, for Paula Fox's tale of one family's massive, various history awes with its marvelous compression. We learn these people inside and out in just one evening. Divided into seven chapters ("Drinks," "Corridor," "Restaurant," "The Messenger," "Two Brothers," "Clara," "The Funeral"), the book tells of the Maldonadas, Spanish-Cuban immigrants to America who now find themselves middle-aged and living in the past, galvanized only by sister Laura's emotional excesses....


The Master of Ballantrae: A Winter's Tale
Robert Louis Stevenson
0375759301
April 2002
Paperback
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Review
“If a strong story, strongly told, full of human interest, and absolutely original in its situations, makes a masterpiece, then this may lay claim to the title.”—Arthur Conan Doyle

Review
?If a strong story, strongly told, full of human interest, and absolutely original in its situations, makes a masterpiece, then this may lay claim to the title.??Arthur Conan Doyle

See all Editorial Reviews


Servants of the Map
Andrea Barrett
0393043487
February 1902
Hardcover
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Book Review
No one limns the opposing pull of inner and outer worlds more eloquently than Andrea Barrett. Her naturalists, explorers, scientists, and healers are driven to work and above all to know; they categorize, theorize, and collect the phenomena of the natural world with an urgency that feels like physical need. But they are motivated equally by desire and loneliness, and the theme of domestic life runs like a countermelody through each of the six lovely, deeply memorable stories in Servants of the Map. The narrator of the title story, a cartographer in the Grand Trigonometrical Survey of India, is a timid, home- and family-loving man, but the Himalayas strike him with the force of a revelation. The heroine of the lyrical "Theories of Rain" is a creature of strong feelings and appetites, driven to ask questions about the world...


Middle Kingdom
Andrea Barrett
0671729616
Mar 1992
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
An overweight, complacent American woman on a 1986 visit to Beijing becomes fascinated with China and energetically embraces a new life in this affecting tale. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Servants of the Map: Stories
Andrea Barrett
0393323579
February 2003
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
No one limns the opposing pull of inner and outer worlds more eloquently than Andrea Barrett. Her naturalists, explorers, scientists, and healers are driven to work and above all to know; they categorize, theorize, and collect the phenomena of the natural world with an urgency that feels like physical need. But they are motivated equally by desire and loneliness, and the theme of domestic life runs like a countermelody through each of the six lovely, deeply memorable stories in Servants of the Map. The narrator of the title story, a cartographer in the Grand Trigonometrical Survey of India, is a timid, home- and family-loving man, but the Himalayas strike him with the force of a revelation. The heroine of the lyrical "Theories of Rain" is a creature of strong feelings and appetites, driven to ask questions about the world...

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