The Air We Breathe

The Air We Breathe

by Andrea Barrett
4.1 17

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Overview

The Air We Breathe by Andrea Barrett

"An evocative panorama of America...on the cusp of enormous change" (Newsday) by the National Book Award-winning author of Ship Fever.
In the fall of 1916, America prepares for war—but in the community of 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. Prisoners of routine, they take solace in gossip, rumor, and—sometimes—secret attachments. But when the well-meaning efforts of one enterprising patient lead to a tragic accident and a terrible betrayal, the war comes home, bringing with it a surge of anti-immigrant prejudice and vigilante sentiment. Reading group guide included.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393333077
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/06/2008
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 591,171
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Andrea Barrett is the author of The Air We Breathe, Servants of the Map (finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), The Voyage of the Narwhal, Ship Fever (winner of the National Book Award), and other books. She teaches at Williams College and lives in northwestern Massachusetts.

Hometown:

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

November 16, 1954

Place of Birth:

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Education:

B.A., Union College

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The Air We Breathe 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
"The Air We Breathe" is Andrea Barrett's sweeping and intelligent story of tuberculosis patients at the turn of the 20th century. She gives us the medical, scientific and cultural history in which she sets her well-developed characters. I have worked with refugess who had been exposed to TB, and yet I still learned a lot of new info about TB. Hopefully someone will make a movie out of this beautiful, mesmerizing story.
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
"The Air We Breathe" is Andrea Barrett's sweeping and intelligent story of tuberculosis patients at the turn of the 20th century. She gives us the medical, scientific and cultural history in which she sets her well-developed characters. I have worked with refugess who had been exposed to TB, and yet I still learned a lot of new info about TB. Hopefully someone will make a movie out of this beautiful, mesmerizing story.
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
"The Air We Breathe" is Andrea Barrett's sweeping and intelligent story of tuberculosis patients at the turn of the 20th century. She gives us the medical, scientific and cultural history in which she sets her well-developed characters. I have worked with refugess who had been exposed to TB, and yet I still learned a lot of new info about TB. Hopefully someone will make a movie out of this beautiful, mesmerizing story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great work by Andrea Barrett.  I have read all her works and enjoy them imensely.  
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldnt get through the sample
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whiteginger More than 1 year ago
The patients of the fictional state-funded Tamarack Sanatorium for TB victims narrate this book as one voice, the voice of "we," a collective first-person omniscient narrator. This tender, poignant voice recalls the years of WWI. Although none of the patients were firm enough to do active service in the war, their story is a touching portrait of how war affects everyone. Leo, the beautifully drawn central character, is only twenty-six when he is placed in the sanatorium. A Russian immigrant with a chemistry background, he has no family and has been unable to find work worthy of his talents and education in America. In the sanatorium the other patients and staff seem drawn to him, but he is shy and quiet. Why is he so secretive? I loved the characters and the historical context woven through the plot. I also enjoyed thoughtful antithesis of ideas--open discussion vs suspicious rumors, scientific progress for good (X-rays) vs scientific progress for evil (poisonous gas warfare), community identity vs individuality. This novel is great reading and would be wonderful for a book club.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. Learning about life in those times, at TB institutions, and the character development was extraordinary. It was very emotional at times and I could actually feel what the people were feeling as everything was described so eloquently. This book really held my interest and I've been so bored lately with most 'best sellers'.