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The Tiger's Wife: Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction and New York Times bestseller Kindle Edition
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The Tiger's Wife is a marvel of beauty and imagination. Téa Obreht is a tremendously talented writer. (Ann Patchett)
A novel of surpassing beauty, exquisitely wrought and magical. Téa Obreht is a towering new talent. (T.C. Boyle)
This is a distinguished work by almost any standard, and a genuinely exciting debut... Obreht has a vibrant, rangy, full-bodied prose style, which moves expertly between realistic and mythic modes of storytelling, conjuring brilliant images on every page... a delightful work, as enchanting as it is surprising, and Obreht is a compelling new voice. (Edmund Gordon THE SUNDAY TIMES)
the myth-infused tale of a young doctor in a war-ravaged Balkan country trying to find the truth about her grandfather's death. Obreht's novel is that rarity: a debut that arrives fully formed, super smart but wearing its learning lightly. Above all The Tiger's Wife bristles with confidence. (Adrian Turpin FINANCIAL TIMES)
Beautifully executed, haunting and lyrical, The Tiger's Wife is an ambitious novel that succeeds on all counts. It's a book you will want to read again and again. (THE INDEPENDENT)
The Tiger's Wife has been touted as one of 2011's outstanding debuts and it deserves its reputation...Weaving together fantastical tales and folklore with realism about coming to terms with loss and grief, it is also a book about the secrets people keep. This layering of stories creates a book rich in textures. Combining a mystery narrative, a family narrative and a book about the worlds of the imagination, Tea Obreht's novel is one that allows the reader to get lost in them. (METRO)
The Tiger's Wife, is assured, eloquent and not easily forgotten...war is just a backdrop, religions barely identified. It is the tiger, the deathless man, and the inquisitive doctor who lead the story through its layers of modern-day reality, magical realism, and folklore...her pacing in the book is delicious - Obreht has the storyteller's gift for suspense, and holds back details until the reader can wait no more...she has lived up to the early hype. (Joy lo Dico INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)
The brilliant black comedy and matryoshka-style narrative are among the novel's great joys...Obreht has prodigious talent for storytelling and imagery (Kapka Kassabova THE GUARDIAN)
Obreht's landscape hovers half in and half out of fable - where villagers who daily risk being hoisted by landmines also fear malign spirits, tigers' brides and men who transform into bears...It's a part of the world that Obreht has made her imagination's own: raucous and strange and gorgeous and rather haunting. This is a pretty formidable first novel. Here be tigers. (Sam Leith FINANCIAL TIMES) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- File size : 830 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 349 pages
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- ASIN : B004O0U552
- Publisher : Weidenfeld & Nicolson (3 Mar. 2011)
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 136,172 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer reviews:
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Natalia is a young doctor visiting the region on a humanitarian mission to establish a clinic at an orphanage and inoculate the children. She faces the task of administering modern antibiotics to the children while the villagers are digging over a field seeking the bones of a relation, buried 12 years earlier. Rather than feel secure with medical treatment, they feel they need to focus on collecting all the bones and ceremoniously bury the body so the illnesses that have befallen their village can be lifted.
Natalia is soon informed of her Grandfather’s death and her memories of him as a doctor and the stories he regaled her with, come to the fore, and she sees the dichotomy of a man of medicine with a belief in fables as she holds onto his cherished copy of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.
“Everything necessary to understand my grandfather lies between two stories: the story of the tiger’s wife, and the story of the deathless man. These stories run like secret rivers through all the other stories of his life. … One which I learned after his death, is the story of how my grandfather became a man; the other, which he told me, is of how he became a child again.”
The background to the stories is told at different time periods and the grandfather’s connection with them is fascinating and thought-provoking.
The deathless man was the nephew of death himself, who came to heal but ended up carrying the souls of the dead to the other side. A story that possibly resonated with his medical profession and the contrast is once again evident to see, between healing and death.
An escaped tiger after months of roaming the countryside took refuge just outside the little village of Galina. Sometimes coming closer but mainly staying out of reach. The butcher of Galina, Luka, had a wife who was known as “the deaf-mute girl,” a wife he subjected to vicious beatings. After Luka died from what is believed to have been the tiger, his wife became known as “the tiger’s wife” and she is known to frequent a barn where the tiger has been seen. When she is recognised as being pregnant the villagers claim that she’s carrying the tiger’s baby. Natalia’s grandfather as a young boy knows the tiger’s wife and is the only villager unafraid of the tiger but he has a secret that he maintains from everyone. He sees the manifestation of Shere Khan from The Jungle Book and his imagination like many of the villagers is set to proffer another myth.
The novel is unique and wonderfully delivered with exceptional story-telling from Téa Obreht. It achieved a wonderful balance of interfacing religion, culture, new and old, reality and superstition, war and peace, destruction and rebuilding, contemporary medicine and traditional healing. A story where the reader can interpret the meaning as they wish and project deeper meaning into the two fables.
I would highly recommend reading this book and I feel it is a worthy prize-winner.
Obreht has a natural talent for story-telling and the story of Natalia's grandfather's life is told as a series of myths and folktales. The main story of the Tiger's Wife relates to a tiger that escapes from the zoo and settles in the forests surrounding the grandfather's boyhood village. The tiger is a constant and ominous presence for the villagers and is befriended by the mistreated, deaf-mute wife of the local butcher. The second main tale concerns that of the Deathless Man, who the grandfather encounters a few times throughout his life. This is a young man who can foresee the death of others whilst not being able to age or die himself. The author tells these tales beautifully and they are absorbing. The backdrop of a country recovering from war emphasises the need for people to retain their traditions and identities through the passing down of stories.
This book was a lovely read and I can see why it won the Orange Prize, the prose is beautiful and the stories are original and compelling. My main problem with the book is that it didn't come together as a whole. I liked the tale of the Deathless Man and I liked the story of the Tiger's Wife but they were completely unrelated to one another. I thought the stories would overlap somehow but all they had in common was the grandfather. I think this book is worth less as a whole than the sum of its parts so perhaps Obreht should have limited the number of stories within this book and saved them for her future novels. She is young and obviously brimming with ideas so I'm sure there will be much more to come from her. This is a wonderful read but not quite good enough to get 5 stars from me.
I do not know why Téa Obrecht decided on the title “The Tiger’s Wife”, as this was just one of the many yarns threading through the story, any of which would have served just as well. On the whole, these were an irritating distraction from the main story – i.e., her relationships with her patients and the people connected with them – in a community riddled with superstition - but the simplicity of her use of language is quite enjoyable.