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The Forms of Water

New or Used: 2 copies from $15.40
New or Used: 2 copies from $15.40

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About the Author

ANDREA BARRETT lives in Rochester, NY. She is the author of five novels, and a collection of stories, Ship Fever, which won the National Book Award in 1996 and received startling critical acclaim: 'The title novella is devastating: as with every story here, you enter right into it, and cannot entirely leave it behind.' New Yorker


After spending his productive years in a monastery near his childhood home, 80-year-old Brendan Auberon is now confined to a wheelchair and a nursing home, where his family pay him occasional obligatory visits. When Brendan convinces his nephew Henry to help him return to the home of his youth, now covered by a reservoir supplying water to the city of Boston, Brendan steals the nursing home van for the adventure. The trip doesn't turn out as planned, but with Brendan and Henry on the run, and various family members in pursuit, it is anything but dull; Brendan, through his last capricious act, serves as the catalyst to set errant family members on the right path again. Barrett ( The Middle Kingdom , LJ 2/1/91) combines family dissension and adventure with healthy doses of faith and optimism. The result is a satisfying analysis of family dysfunction in the spirit of Sue Miller.-- Thomas L. Kilpatrick, Southern Illinois Univ. at Carbondale Lib.

'Subtle and strong... Barrett's talents shine... Barrett not only gets the geographical terrain right, she has the emotional terrain down as well. Her writing... is insidious and fluid and as clean as a Berkshire stream. Long after the book has been shelved you'll find yourself thinking of Brendan, a crowning achievement for any writer.' Detroit News 'Barrett returns with her speciality - a story about the tangled web of a family told in prose that's spun smooth as silk... The strength this time around lies in Barrett's fine writing and the haunting power of the water, rising to fill that reservoir. It was a real event, but like the best of fiction writers, Barrett makes it more than real.' Kirkus Reviews

A troubled family is reunited during a journey to an aging uncle's Massachusetts home. (Aug.)

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