Andrea Barrett published four moderately successful novels before Ship Fever, and Other Stories catapulted her to fame. Since then her ambitious historical novel The Voyage of the Narwhal was published to very good reviews in 1998, although it has not received the critical attention her collection of stories did.
In 1992, Andrea Barrett won a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, using the time that award provided to write the stories in Ship Fever, and Other Stories, which won the 1996 National Book Award. She has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and an honorary degree from Union College.
Barrett, Andrea. “An Interview with Andrea Barrett.” Interview by Marian Ryan. The Writer’s Chronicle 32 (December, 1999): 4-9. An extensive interview in which Barrett talks more candidly than usual about a wide variety of concerns important to her. Barrett talks about how stories are a way of knowledge, about how the lens of historical fiction allows her to express her deepest feelings, and about the technical experimentation that gave rise to many of the stories in Ship Fever, and Other Stories.
Basbanes, Nicholas A. “Author’s ‘Private Passion’ Goes Public.” The Memphis Commercial Appeal, March 16, 1997, p. G4. An interview story about Barrett’s publicity tour after winning the National Book Award. Barrett describes the origin of Ship Fever, and Other Stories and how she taught herself to write short fiction for the book.
Greene, Janice. “Science as a Metaphor for Longing.” Review of Ship Fever, and Other Stories, by Andrea Barrett. The San Francisco Chronicle, January 28, 1996, p. 5. This review claims Barrett’s stories of the past have more vitality than those of the present. Singles the title story out as one that is rich with contrasts; says it sums up the focus of all her stories—that the pursuit of fulfillment, like the pursuit of science, is a quest for truth....
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