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The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht

Shortlisted authors, from left, Tea Obreht, Aminatta Forma, Nicole Krauss, Emma Donoghue, Kathleen Winter and Emma Henderson pose with their books before the announcement of the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction, during the awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London, Wednesday, June 8, 2011.

      The sometimes crushing power of myth, story, and memory is explored in the brilliant debut of Obreht, the youngest of the New Yorker's 20-under-40. Natalia Stefanovi, a doctor living (and, in between suspensions, practicing) in an unnamed country that's a ringer for Obreht's native Croatia, crosses the border in search of answers about the death of her beloved grandfather, who raised her on tales from the village he grew up in, and where, following German bombardment in 1941, a tiger escaped from the zoo in a nearby city and befriended a mysterious deaf-mute woman. The evolving story of the tiger's wife, as the deaf-mute becomes known, forms one of three strands that sustain the novel, the other two being Natalia's efforts to care for orphans and a wayward family who, to lift a curse, are searching for the bones of a long-dead relative; and several of her grandfather's stories about Gavran Gailé, the deathless man, whose appearances coincide with catastrophe and who may hold the key to all the stories that ensnare Natalia. Obreht is an expert at depicting history through aftermath, people through the love they inspire, and place through the stories that endure; the reflected world she creates is both immediately recognizable and a legend in its own right. Obreht is talented far beyond her years, and her unsentimental faith in language, dream, and memory is a pleasure.


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  • Seth M.

    I haven't actually read the book, though I'm sort of looking to attend some book meetups. Would it be terribly rude for me to sit in on this one, if only to meet some people and say hello?

    April 29, 2014

    • David K.

      That would be great ....come and see what we are doing...

      April 29, 2014

    • Seth M.

      Sorry I ended up not showing. The rain was starting to come down heavy, and the bus wouldn't take me all the way there. I hope it was an enjoyable time regardless, and I might host my own event at some point.

      April 29, 2014

  • Nancy R.

    Sorry. Because I had not come to a mtg yet, I didn't realize how far it was. I am unable to attend.

    April 29, 2014

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