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About the Book

About the Book

The Air We Breathe

In the fall of 1916, America prepares for war --- but in the isolated 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 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. Andrea Barrett masterfully sets this luminous novel in a historical period of great progress in science and medicine --- even in the art of war. Her richly complex men and women, with their passions and vulnerabilities, engage and haunt us.

“Barrett eloquently blends scientific elements like TB and chemistry with her diverse characters’ hopes and heartbreaks to bring the book to crackling life.” --Entertainment Weekly

“[Barrett’s] gift for story, for mining America’s past, and her ability to construct a specific moment in the quest for knowledge are remarkable.” --Philadelphia Inquirer

The Air We Breathe
by Andrea Barrett

  • Publication Date: October 17, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • ISBN-10: 0393333078
  • ISBN-13: 9780393333077