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The Tiger's Wife: A Novelby Tea Obreht
Part mystery, part folktale, part dark fable, The Tiger's Wife is wholly original. Set in the Balkans, this atmospheric novel follows a young doctor who works in an orphanage and has just lost her grandfather. Trying to make sense of his death, Natalia begins to unravel the meaning behind twin folktales The Deathless Man and The Tiger's Wife, both unbelievable yet seemingly true that seem to be entwined with her grandfather's life and death. Told again and again to Natalia by her grandfather, these stories of his youth become her stories, as well; every opaque and muddy sentence becomes a link to her grandfather. Obreht is the youngest author named as one of the New Yorker's Best 20 Writers Under 40, as well as the National Book Foundation's Best 5 Under 35. At 25, her ability to write The Tiger's Wife is astonishing. A seasoned and mature writer would be hard pressed to match the scope and lyricism of Obreht's debut book. Moody, pensive, and shadowy, yet at the same time positively radiant, The Tiger's Wife should not be missed.
Synopses & Reviews
When The New Yorker ran an excerpt of The Tiger’s Wife in its 2009 Fiction issue, it was clear an astonishing new talent had arrived in the world of contemporary fiction.
The time: the present. The place: a Balkan country ravaged by years of conflict. Natalia, a young doctor, is on a mission of mercy to an orphanage when she receives word of her beloved grandfather’s death far from their home under circumstances shrouded in confusion. Remembering childhood stories her grandfather once told her, Natalia becomes convinced that he spent his last days searching for "the deathless man," a vagabond who claimed to be immortal. As Natalia struggles to understand why her grandfather, a deeply rational man, would go on such a farfetched journey, she stumbles across a clue that leads her to the extraordinary story of the tiger’s wife.
An involving mystery, an emotionally riveting family story, and a wondrous evocation of an unfamiliar world, The Tiger’s Wife is a brilliant novel.
Struggling to understand why her beloved grandfather left his family to die alone in a field hospital far from home, a young doctor in a war-torn Balkan country takes over her grandfather's search for a mythical ageless vagabond while referring to a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. A first novel. 18,000 first printing.
Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend, loss, and love, Obreht, the youngest of "The New Yorker's" 20 best American fiction writers under 40, spins a timeless novel about a young doctor who confronts the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather's recent death.
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