Reading the Stories of Andrea Barrett

Moderator: David Neelon
Role of participants: Participants will read and discuss 18 short stories and novellas by Andrea Barrett contained in 3 books published between 1996 and 2014. Each participant will prepare and present a report, about 30 minutes in length, on a topic related to the material.  A list of suggested topics will be provided.
Number of participants (including the moderator): 11-17
Time: Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30 pm
Place: Amherst Woman’s Club, 35 Triangle Street, Amherst
Parking: Ample parking on site

This seminar will explore three of Andrea Barrett’s short story and novella collections: Ship Fever (1996), Servants of the Map (2002), and Archangel (2014).

Andrea Barrett said, “Any kind of serious work is full of drama and passion, yearning and disappointment, complicated choices, sacrifices, moments of bliss—and science is serious, wonderful work.”

We will read to explore: the borders between fiction and historical fact, the limitations of science and research one or two centuries ago, the character of famous men and the women who dared enter their fields, perceptions of nature and disease in the generations before ours. We will learn about the literary arts of the short story. We will bring our own personal insights, experience and discoveries to the discussion. Participants in this exciting seminar will not forget the stories Barrett tells. Andrea Barrett’s book, Ship Fever, won the National Book Award. She teaches at Williams and lives near to us in North Adams, MA.

Format: Seminar discussion, and presentations, no Power Point

Resources: Three collections by Andrea Barrett, all published by W.W. Norton.

  • Ship Fever, 1996
  • Servants of the Map, 2002
  • Archangel, 2014

The Moderator: David Neelon has been interested in Barrett’s writing for many years, due to personal interests in history, science and technology, and the arts of storytelling.  He has led week-long and day seminars on historical/biographical subjects, and has led long-running fiction writers’ workshops.

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