Andrea Barrett is an American author known for her historical fiction that often explores the themes of science, nature, and the lives of scientists. She received the National Book Award for Fiction in 1996 for her collection of short stories 'Ship Fever.' Her works are celebrated for their rich detail and character development, often weaving factual scientific history with the fictional lives of her characters.
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"Ship Fever and Other Stories" is a collection of seven short stories and a novella, all revolving around the theme of scientific discovery and the human response to it. The stories span across different eras and locations, from 19th-century Canada during a typhus epidemic to contemporary America. The characters, including scientists, explorers, and ordinary people, grapple with the moral and ethical implications of scientific advancements, the pursuit of knowledge, and the intersection of science and human emotion. The novella, which gives the collection its title, focuses on the 1847 typhus epidemic among Irish immigrants in Canada.