The exquisite, much-anticipated new novel by the author of Ship Fever, winner of the National Book Award.
In fall 1916, Americans debate whether to enter the European war. Preparedness parades march and headlines report German spies. But in an isolated community in the Adirondacks, the danger is barely felt. At Tamarack Lake the focus is on the sick. Wealthy tubercular patients live in private cure cottages; charity patients, mainly immigrants, fill the large public sanatorium. For all, time stands still. Prisoners of routine and yearning for absent families, the patients, including the newly arrived Leo Marburg, take solace in gossip, rumor, andsometimessecret attachments.
An enterprising patient initiates a weekly discussion group. When his well-meaning efforts lead instead to a tragic accident and a terrible betrayal, the war comes home, bringing with it a surge of anti-immigrant prejudice and vigilante sentiment. The conjunction of thwarted desires and political tension binds the patients so deeply that, finally, they speak about whats happened in a single voice.
The Air We Breathe, though entirely self-contained, extends the web of connected characters begun with Ship Fever.
Andrea Barrett has received a National Book Award and a MacArthur grant and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A fellow at the New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers, Barrett lives in North Adams, Massachusetts, and teaches at Williams College.
This is an Advance Reading Copy, also known as an Advance Readers Edition, Uncorrected Proof or Unbound Manuscript. ARCs may differ from the final book in some of the text, and if there are pictures or illustrations, they generally are not included.
Its release date is October 1, 2007, when it will retail for $24.95. This softcover advance edition is 300 pages and measures approximately 6" x 9.25". It has "staff" written on the bottom edge. It is unread.