CORVALLIS, Ore. - National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Andrea Barrett will read from her latest novel, "The Air We Breathe," on Friday, May 20, at Oregon State University.

The free, public event begins at 7:30 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center. It follows a three-day visit to OSU during which Barrett will meet with students of creative writing, literature, and the history of science.

Barrett is well-known for her meticulously researched historical fiction. She is the author of eight books including "Ship Fever" (1996), "Servants of the Map" (2002), and most recently "The Air We Breathe" (2007), the story of an isolated Adirondack community of tuberculosis patients as they experience the outbreak of World War I.  Publishers Weekly called her latest book, "vivid and engrossing." 

The Chicago Tribune wrote, "To call Barrett our poet laureate of science is perfectly apropos, as long as we recognize that her specialty is the heart. She is forever humanizing scientists, taking them off the pedestal and into the messy reality of everyday life."

Barrett's many honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2001. Barrett teaches at Williams College in Massachusetts and in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers in North Carolina.

The reading is co-sponsored by the OSU Visiting Writers Series and the Horning Endowment for the Humanities. The OSU Visiting Writers Series made possible by support from The Valley Library, the OSU Department of English, Tim Steele and Kathy Brisker, the Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts, and the OSU Bookstore.

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Marjorie Sandor, 541-737-1648