The Tiger's Wife

The Tiger's Wife

3.38 (82,099 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

WINNER OF THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION
'Not since Zadie Smith has a young writer arrived with such power and grace' Time
'A marvel of beauty and imagination' Ann Patchett

A tiger escapes from the local zoo, padding through the ruined streets and onwards, to a ridge above the Balkan village of Galina. His nocturnal visits hold the villagers in a terrified thrall - but for one boy, the tiger is a thing of magic.

Natalia is the granddaughter of that boy. Now a doctor, she is visiting orphanages in the war-torn Balkans when she receives word of her beloved grandfather's death, far from their home, in circumstances shrouded in mystery.

Compelled to unravel the truth, Natalia stumbles upon a clue that will lead her to a tattered copy of The Jungle Book, and then to the most extraordinary story her grandfather never told her - the legend of the tiger's wife.

One of the most

BRILLIANT (Sunday Times)

ASTONISHING (New York Times)

PRODIGIOUS (Guardian)

FORMIDABLE (Financial Times)

EXTRAORDINARY (Vogue)

writers of her generation
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 28mm | 260g
  • WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1474613810
  • 9781474613811
  • 57,257

Review quote

A distinctive, magical tale * DAILY EXPRESS * Mysterious and funny * SUNDAY HERALD * a stunning tale with the mythic quality of a fairy story * TIMES * War and its legacy ricochets through Obreht's kaleidoscopic dance of myth, folk memory and interrelated stories ... dizzying and ambitious * LONDON METRO * As enchanting as it is surprising ... Obreht's prose style is full-bodied and vibrant, and she conjures brilliant images on every page. -- Edmund Gordon * SUNDAY TIMES * A magical, distinctive tale. -- Emma Lee-Potter * DAILY EXPRESS * A wonderful, really remarkable novel...fascinating, unusual, original -- Erica Wagner * on WOMAN'S HOUR, RADIO 4 * Deftly walks the line between the realistic and the fantastical . . . In Obreht's expert hands, the novel's mythology, while rooted in a foreign world, comes to seem somehow familiar, like the dark fairy tales of our own youth, the kind that spooked us into reading them again and again . . . [Reveals] oddly comforting truths about death, belief in the impossible, and the art of letting go * O: The Oprah Magazine * Astonishingly assured...full of vivid, dreamlike sequence...Obreht's mesmerizing writing is key to the novel, which succeeds through a kind of harmonic resonance...Obreht's striking ability to explain the world through stories is matched by her patience with the parts of life - and death - that endlessly confound us * Boston Globe * Tea Obreht's swirling first novel, The Tiger's Wife, draws us beneath the clotted tragedies in the Balkans to deliver the kind of truth that histories can't touch. Born in Belgrade in 1985 - no, that's not a typo - she captures the thirst for consecration that a century of war has left in that bloody part of the world. It's a novel of enormous ambitions that manages in its modest length to contain the conflicts between Christians and Muslims, Turks and Ottomans, science and superstition... Well-deserved praise has been accumulating ever since Obreht published a chapter in the New Yorker almost two years ago, and now that we have the whole, its graceful commingling of contemporary realism and village legend seems even more absorbing * Washington Post * Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife comes freighted with more critical anticipation than any debut novel in recent memory...That sort of unearned, pre-emptive prestige spurs both impossible expectations and skeptical readings - a burden that would doom most first novels. Yet The Tiger's Wife, in its solemn beauty and unerring execution, fully justifies the accolades that Ms. Obreht's short fiction inspired. She has a talent for subtle plotting that eludes most writers twice her age, and her descriptive powers suggest a kind of channeled genius. No novel this year has seemed more likely to disappoint; no novel has been more satisfying * Wall Street Journal * Tea Obreht is an extraordinarily talented writer...brings to mind the novels of Mikhail Bulgakov...[a] truly marvellous and memorable first novel * New York Review of Books * Tea Obreht's stunning debut novel, The Tiger's Wife, is a hugely ambitious, audaciously written work that provides an indelible picture of life in an unnamed Balkan country still reeling from the fallout of civil war... Ms. Obreht, who was born in the former Yugoslavia and is, astonishingly, only 25, writes with remarkable authority and eloquence... Ms. Obreht has not only made a precocious debut, but she has also written a richly textured and searing novel * New York Times * This astounding debut novel about the former Yugoslavia in wartime is so rich with themes of love, legends and mortality that every novel that comes after it this year is in peril of falling short in comparison with its uncanny beauty...Not since Zadie Smith has a young writer arrived with such power and grace * Time * Spellbinding... Tea Obreht's debut has the fantastical allure of a folk fable * Marie Claire * Varied, poignant and beguilingly fantastical...The Tiger's Wife is an exciting, fast-paced and mystical novel that'll have you rushing to the end * Time Out * Natalia, a young doctor, is on her way to deliver aid to a remote orphanage when she discovers her beloved grandfather is dead. As she tries to reconstruct her grandfather's last journey, she recalls his stories, which combine folklore and mystery with his exquisite humanity. Set in a Balkan country adjusting to life after the war, the book resonates with the aftershocks of conflict, old enmities, fatalism and superstition. Haunting, thoughtful and beautifully atmospheric * Psychologies * 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 * Independent on Sunday * 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 * 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 * Sunday Times * She is a natural born storyteller and this is a startlingly suggestive novel about the dying out of myths and superstitions and rituals that bind people to place: the retreat of the spirits * Daily Telegraph * 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 * 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 * Indpendent * The brilliant black comedy and matryoshka-style narrative are among the novel's great joys...Obreht has prodigious talent for storytelling and imagery * Guardian * 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 *
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About Tea Obreht

Tea Obreht is the author of THE TIGER'S WIFE, winner of the Orange Prize and a finalist for the National Book Award, and INLAND. She was born in Belgrade, in the former Yugoslavia, in 1985 and has lived in the United States since the age of twelve. She currently lives in New York City.
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Rating details

82,099 ratings
3.38 out of 5 stars
5 15% (12,684)
4 32% (26,452)
3 33% (26,883)
2 14% (11,762)
1 5% (4,318)
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