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summary The Tiger's Wife

The Tiger's Wife

Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend loss and love Téa Obreht the youngest of The New Yorker’s twenty best American fiction writers under forty has spun a timeless novel that will establish her as one of the most vibrant original authors of her generationIn a Balkan country mending from years of conflict Natalia a young doctor arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there she feels age old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards Secrets hidden in the landscape itsel Civil war in the Balkans has left that region bereft and in need It is in this fascinating region that T a Obreht sets her elegantly written debut novel The Tiger s WifeWhile the protagonist of The Tiger s Wife is Natalia Stefanovic a young doctor who has returned to her homeland to help the villagers the central mystery of the book revolves around Natalia s beloved grandfather as Natalia seeks to reconstruct his final days and his death in a village named Zdrevkov far from his homeAlthough Natalia s search for the rhyme and reason behind her grandfather s actions seems pretty straightforward Obreht twines two folktaleslegends around the central story and in their telling writes a story about stories And even though Natalia is the protagonist of The Tiger s Wife it s her wise swe

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FBut Natalia is also confronting a private hurtful mystery of her own the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death After telling her grandmother that he was on his way to meet Natalia he instead set off for a ramshackle settlement none of their family had ever heard of and died there alone A famed physician her grandfather must have known that he was too ill to travel Why he left home becomes a riddle Natalia is compelled to unravel Grief struck and searching for clues to her grandfather’s final state of mind she turns to the stories he told her when she was a child On their weeklytrips to the zoo he would read to her from a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book which he carried with him ev While praising Obreht for writing with great lyrical force some have criticized her for writing a disjointed novel I disagree Her novel s central uestion asks How do people respond to death The setting is the Balkans an area with complex histories and cultures all wrestling with death in one form or another death from disease from poverty and from violence both small within the walls of a family s home or large scale as with air raid bombing Death stalks the people of the Balkans like a tiger demonstrating its inherent brutality grace and stealth Her characters respond to death in various ways both literal and symbolic We respond in a logical scientific way as do three characters who are physicians We respond by hunting down death as do a handful of characters We respond as butchers As magicians As

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Erywhere; later he told her stories of his own encounters over many years with “the deathless man” a vagabond who claimed to be immortal and appeared never to age But the most extraordinary story of all is the one her grandfather never told her the one Natalia must discover for herself One winter during the Second World War his childhood village was snowbound cut off even from the encroaching German invaders but haunted by another fierce presence a tiger who comes ever closer under cover of darkness “These stories” Natalia comes to understand “run like secret rivers through all the other stories” of her grandfather’s life And it is ultimately within these rich luminous narratives that she will find the answer she is looking for I think it s interesting to look at the literature coming out now that has to do with building a mythology Is it because of the incredible works of people like Angela Carter Gabriel Garcia Maruez Italo Calvino and others who have influenced so strongly this generation Or is it that as we become increasingly godless and mythless there is something to the human that needs the myth to survive I am reminded by the knitting and food preserving revolutions that have exploded something that used to be what our grandmothers did that a generation took back from parents who left it behind when microwaves and machines made the practices unpractical Novels like this seem to be a rebellion to the John Updikes and Raymond Carvers of literature So many of the first novels coming out now are filled with ghosts and

  • Hardcover
  • 338
  • The Tiger's Wife
  • Téa Obreht
  • English
  • 08 July 2017
  • 9780385343831

About the Author: Téa Obreht

The Tiger’s Wife was published by Random House in March 2011 She has been named by The New Yorker as one of the twenty best American fiction writers under forty and included in the National Book Foundation’s list of 5 Under 35 Téa Obreht lives in Ithaca New York



10 thoughts on “The Tiger's Wife

  1. says:

    I'm probably one of the few people who didn't get this book While I give credit to Tea Obreht for her ingenuity and creativity with the story I felt at times frustrated by the pace of the the book and the way it wound through the fantastical

  2. says:

    5 stars for hype4 stars for beautiful writing3 stars for interesting folk stories2 stars for plot1 star for meaning5 stars H

  3. says:

    Civil war in the Balkans has left that region bereft and in need It is in this fascinating region that Téa Obreht sets her elegantly written debut novel The Tiger’s WifeWhile the protagonist of The Tiger’s Wife is Natalia Stefanovic a young doctor who has returned to her homeland to help the villagers the central my

  4. says:

    While praising Obreht for writing with great lyrical force some have criticized her for writing a disjointed novel I disagree Her novel's central uestion asks How do people respond to death The setting is the Balkans an area with complex histories and cultures all wrestling with death in one form or another death from disease from

  5. says:

    Duality The Tiger’s Wife is an ambitious book of depth and meaning which draws links between troubled aftermath in a war torn European region and the backdrop of superstition and myths There is a theme adopted throughout the book th

  6. says:

    The Tiger's Wife Téa ObrehtThe Tiger's Wife is the debut novel of Serbian American writer Téa Obreht It was published in 2011 The Tiger's Wife

  7. says:

    I think it's interesting to look at the literature coming out now that has to do with building a mythology Is it because of the incredible works of people like Angela Carter Gabriel Garcia Maruez Italo Calvino and others who have influenced so strongly this generation Or is it that as we become increasingly godless and

  8. says:

    I cannot recommend this book I have given it only two stars I am almost thinking of giving this one star I will be very specific in l

  9. says:

    I was born in Belgrade a few years before the author and unlike her lived there until college graduation throughout the wars and crises of the 1990s I was hoping that this book could tell some authentic stories abo

  10. says:

    One of those books that casts a spell from which you emerge so reluctantly after the last word The cycles of death and rebirth superstition and truth love and revenge weave through the legends and family stories of the Balkans and the uests of two doctors a modern young woman and her beloved grandfather When yo

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