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Archangel: Fiction (Paperback)

Archangel: Fiction By Andrea Barrett Cover Image
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"Elegantly contemplative.…[O]ffers a powerfully human sense of the struggle it takes for new ideas to dislodge old ones." —Janet Maslin, New York Times Book Review

Dramas both personal and cosmic unfold around five pivotal moments in the history of knowledge in this collection from the "genius enchantress" (Karen Russell) author of Ship Fever, winner of the National Book Award.

A young boy comes of age amid an explosion of homespun investigations. A widowed science writer tries to reconcile the influence of emotion on scientific theory. A famous biologist finds himself outpaced by his students, even as he seeks to teach them. As the characters in this "elegant, thought-provoking" (Connie Ogle, Miami Herald) collection witness the world transform around them through groundbreaking discoveries—the flight of an early aeroplane, Darwin’s theory of evolution, developments in genetics and X-ray technology—they grapple with the thrill and loss that accompanies scientific progress, and the personal passions and impersonal politics that shape all human knowledge. Throughout these deftly plotted stories, Andrea Barrett weaves subtle connections among the tales within this collection and characters in her earlier works.

About the Author

Andrea Barrett is the author of Natural History, the National Book Award–winning Ship Fever, and Pulitzer Prize finalist Servants of the Map, among other works of fiction. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Award, she lives in the Adirondacks.

Praise For…

Barrett frequently telescopes out of human frailty to an almost cosmic realm.
— John Freeman - Boston Globe

[Barrett] writes lovely, lambent prose, balanced and graceful.
— Michael Lindgren - Washington Post

Does anyone write with a calmer authority than Andrea Barrett?
— Lloyd Sachs - Chicago Tribune

Andrea Barrett is a consummate literary artist.
— Jess Row - New York Times Book Review

Who but Barrett can take on the inscrutable elegance of the cosmos and the messy complexity of the human heart in a single story? In her joy-to-read prose, with scientific precision and warm insight, Barrett translates the unknown into our world of reference. Her characters’ thirst for discovery is contagious, and every story in Archangel is suffused with the most miraculous horizon light.
— Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia! and Vampires in the Lemon Grove

Celebrates the vitality of critical scientific inquiry in a time still anchored in the old thinking.…[The] final story achieves a fusion of life and wonder.
— Alan Cheuse - NPR

Like Darwin, and Einstein, and all her other heroes, Barrett the storyteller pulls us relentlessly away from false comforts, into the dazzling, often chaotic, world as it really is.
— April Bernard - New York Review of Books

We’re used to seeing politics and religion as beliefs we act on, but Ms. Barrett has plots about shifts in scientific thought. The outside world (rich in strangeness, often violent) casts its shadow into these subtle, complicated stories.
— Joan Silber - Wall Street Journal

Finely crafted.
— Michael Upchurch - Seattle Times

The best way to savor this author’s work is to read all of it, but Archangel is a fine starting point for those new to Barrett Country.

— Susan Balee - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Stories that shiver with an awe…realizations occur that can only be called sublime, everything preceding them consisting of the mundane stuff of the world transformed by the alchemy of story.
— John Repp - Cleveland Plain Dealer

The award-winning author returns with another collection of stories distinguished by uncommon scope and depth.…Barrett’s stories rank with the best.
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Barrett’s consummate historical stories of family, ambition, science, and war are intellectually stimulating, lushly emotional, and altogether pleasurable.
— Booklist (starred review)

In this powerful collection of five long stories, the facts come through the eyes of lost, lonely, elusive ‘investigators.’…[T]here is indeed a sense of expansion as one travels onward in Barrett’s world, and pleasure in watching it fill out.
— Publishers Weekly

Readers familiar with Barrett’s work will embrace this new volume; those who have yet to discover her intriguing style will find much to consider. A delight for informed readers of challenging literary fiction.
— Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9781324066002
ISBN-10: 1324066008
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: September 5th, 2023
Pages: 272
Language: English