Servants of the Map: Stories (Paperback)

Servants of the Map: Stories By Andrea Barrett Cover Image

Servants of the Map: Stories (Paperback)

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(Short Stories)

"Gemlike stories that sparkle with intelligence and fire." —O, The Oprah Magazine



A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, this wonderfully imagined collection from the "genius enchantress" (Karen Russell) author of Ship Fever, winner of the National Book Award, explores the crossroads of science and desire.


Servants of the Map sweeps through two centuries, from the Western Himalayas to the Adirondacks, conjuring characters that travel through the territories of yearning and awakening, of loss and unexpected discovery. A mapper of the highest mountain peaks realizes his true obsession. A young woman afire with scientific curiosity must come to terms with a romantic fantasy. Brothers and sisters, torn apart at an early age, are beset by dreams of reunion. As we move through these richly layered tales, Andrea Barrett weaves subtle connections among the stories within this collection and characters in her earlier works.



Andrea Barrett is the author of Natural History, the National Book Award–winning Ship Fever, and Pulitzer Prize finalist Servants of the Map, among other works of fiction. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Award, she lives in the Adirondacks.
Product Details ISBN: 9781324066156
ISBN-10: 1324066156
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: September 5th, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English
These stories possess a wonderful clarity and ease, the serene authority of a writer working at the very height of her powers.
— Michiko Kakutani - New York Times

Like Alice Munro, Barrett writes stories so richly imbricated with detail…that they read like distilled novels rather than conventional short stories.
— Joyce Carol Oates - New York Review of Books

A most distinguished collection of stories.
— Barry Unsworth - New York Times Book Review

Like fossil-hunters, most of Barrett’s characters are looking for a way to piece together fragments of the past; when, in the last story, a cherished belonging of one character shows up in the life of another, we feel rescued and redeemed.
— The New Yorker

Barrett constructs out of these half-dozen long stories about scientists and explorers a fictional archipelago that extends back in time as well as space.
— Alan Cheuse - NPR

A reader familiar with the immediate predecessors of Servants of the Map gradually senses that Barrett is writing a huge serial novel, akin to William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha cycle or Louise Erdrich’s interconnected Native American novels…[B]lends exactitude and compassion, giving clarity and emotional force to Barrett’s investigation of people seeking to understand the laws that govern and trouble both the visible universe and their own invariably distinctive bodies and minds.

— Bruce Allen - Atlantic

Ms. Barrett has made the waters that swirl between a love of science and the science of love her special domain.
— Economist

Time and space course through these stories like a river slowly eroding its banks and altering the land upon which we stand.
— Los Angeles Times Book Review

Barrett, wise and restrained, can say more about grief in one exchange than many authors can force into an entire book.
— Entertainment Weekly

[Barrett] is surely among the very best writers writing in English today.
— San Diego Union-Tribune

Six short stories that read like a novel. Prose so exquisite it reads like poetry. A natural order so awesome it puts science to shame.
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Barrett is one of those rare authors who successfully blend literary finesse with sheer intelligence.
— Denver Post

Luminous…Each [story] is rich and independent and beautiful and should draw Barrett many new admirers.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

One understands how the intricacies of the complex phenomena Barrett has studied have possessed her imagination…Gorgeous, illuminating, entrancing fiction.
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)