Servants of the Map: Stories
Andrea BarrettISBN: 0393323579; 9780393323573;
Amazon.comNo one limns the opposing pull of inner and outer worlds more eloquently than Andrea Barrett. Her naturalists, explorers, scientists, and healers are driven to work and above all to know ; they categorize, theorize, and collect the phenomena of the natural world with an urgency that feels like physical need. But they are motivated equally by desire and loneliness, and the theme of domestic life runs like a countermelody through each of the six lovely, deeply memorable stories in Servants of the Map . The narrator of the title story, a cartographer in the Grand Trigonometrical Survey of India, is a timid, home- and family-loving man, but the Himalayas strike him with the force of a revelation. The heroine of the lyrical "Theories of Rain" is a creature of strong feelings and appetites, driven to ask questions about the world around her in the same spirit as she longs for a neighbor and mourns the brother separated from her in childhood. Her scientific curiosity is...