The Tiger's Wife: A Novel

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The Tiger's Wife: A Novel

by Téa Obreht 

Random House Publishing Group | March 8, 2011 | Hardcover

The Tiger's Wife: A Novel is rated 4 out of 5 by 2.

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Economist • Vogue • Slate • Chicago Tribune • The Seattle Times • Dayton Daily News • Publishers Weekly • Alan Cheuse, NPR’s All Things Considered
 
SELECTED ONE OF THE TOP 10 BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times • Entertainment Weekly • The Christian Science Monitor • The Kansas City Star • Library Journal

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 generation.

In 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 itself.

But 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 everywhere; 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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8.53 × 5.78 × 1.07 in

Published: March 8, 2011

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385343833

ISBN - 13: 9780385343831

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great writer! I really enjoyed reading this book. It is really well written and the author's language is enjoyable. The story was captivating although I wasn't sure why the author did not spend more time on the story of the tiger's wife. It felt like the book was about something or somebody else. Overall, good read. Seggestion-update your knowledge on political situation in post Yugoslavia as I found it to be essential to fully enjoy the plot and the characters.
Date published: 2013-10-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A book for story lovers I really enjoyed The Tigers Wife, even though I didn't always know where it was going. The basic premise is Natalia's grandfather dies while making a journey to a nearby village and he has lied about why he was heading there. Natalia unwinds the mystery of her grandfather's last journey by remembering the various stories he's told her throughout her life. I found the story of the deathless man the most enjoyable and the most relevant. The story of the Tiger's Wife rambled a bit too much, and while the detours it took were enjoyable, I think it took away from the main story a bit. Those could almost have been stand alone stories. I didn't quite understand the point of the tiger's wife story. It was nice, but seemed to have a depth I wasn't astute enough to get. Maybe I'm over thinking it, who knows? A basic knowledge of the war in former Yugoslavia would be helpful before reading it, as that is when and where it takes place. There are a lot of obscure references that are not explained, but can be guessed at if you don't get them. I look forward to more by Obreht.
Date published: 2013-10-29

– More About This Product –

The Tiger's Wife: A Novel

by Téa Obreht 

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8.53 × 5.78 × 1.07 in

Published: March 8, 2011

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385343833

ISBN - 13: 9780385343831

About the Book

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, who 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.

Read from the Book

1 The Coast the forty days of the soul begin on the morning after death. That first night, before its forty days begin, the soul lies still against sweated-on pillows and watches the living fold the hands and close the eyes, choke the room with smoke and silence to keep the new soul from the doors and the windows and the cracks in the floor so that it does not run out of the house like a river. The living know that, at daybreak, the soul will leave them and make its way to the places of its past—the schools and dormitories of its youth, army barracks and tenements, houses razed to the ground and rebuilt, places that recall love and guilt, difficulties and unbridled happiness, optimism and ecstasy, memories of grace meaningless to anyone else—and sometimes this journey will carry it so far for so long that it will forget to come back. For this reason, the living bring their own rituals to a standstill: to welcome the newly loosed spirit, the living will not clean, will not wash or tidy, will not remove the soul’s belongings for forty days, hoping that sentiment and longing will bring it home again, encourage it to return with a message, with a sign, or with forgiveness. If it is properly enticed, the soul will return as the days go by, to rummage through drawers, peer inside cupboards, seek the tactile comfort of its living identity by reassessing the dish rack and the doorbell and the telephone, reminding itself of functionality, all the time touching things
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From the Publisher

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Economist • Vogue • Slate • Chicago Tribune • The Seattle Times • Dayton Daily News • Publishers Weekly • Alan Cheuse, NPR’s All Things Considered
 
SELECTED ONE OF THE TOP 10 BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times • Entertainment Weekly • The Christian Science Monitor • The Kansas City Star • Library Journal

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 generation.

In 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 itself.

But 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 everywhere; 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.

About the Author

Téa Obreht was born in Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia in 1985 and has lived in the United States since the age of twelve. Her writing has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and The Guardian, and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. 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 New York.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Tiger’s Wife : New York Times – 5 Best books (fiction) of 2011 New York Times – Michiko’s top 10 books of 2011 New York Times – 100 Notable Books of 2011 NPR / All Things Considered – Alan Cheuse’s top 5 novels of 2011 O, the Oprah Magazine – 2011 Best Books Entertainment Weekly – Top 10 books (Fiction) of 2011 Esquire – 2011 round-up The Economist – 2011 Best of Books Vogue.com – 2011 Best of Books list Slate.com – 2011 Best of Books list Christian Science Monitor – Top 10 books (Fiction) of 2011 Publishers Weekly – Top 100 books of year Library Journal – top 10 books of 2011 Seattle Times – 32 of the Year’s Best Books Kansas City Star – Top 10 Books of 2011   “Of the books I read this year by people I’ve never laid eyes on, the most peculiar and brilliant may have been The Tiger’s Wife , by Téa Obreht. Constructed from anecdote and fable, it is sometimes written in a kind of medical poetry, its main characters being doctors whose attention to the permeable line between life and death suits the tales of old and new Yugoslavia that Obreht wishes to tell.” —Lorrie Moore, New Yorker online “Stunning…Obreht writes with an angel''s pen on this tiger''s tale within the novel, and on myriad other matters, from birth, death and immortality, creating a skein of descriptive passages flush with brilliant
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