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The Tiger's Wife (2011)

de Téa Obreht

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MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
5,3753351,963 (3.53)1 / 632
Remembering childhood stories her grandfather once told her, young physician 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.… (més)
  1. 123
    Història de Pi de Yann Martel (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books contain elements of magical realism and tigers!
  2. 102
    Llibre de la jungla (Llibre primer i Llibre segon) de Rudyard Kipling (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: The Jungle Book is the book Natalia's grandfather loves in The Tiger's Wife and features Shere Khan, the tiger.
  3. 61
    The Namesake de Jhumpa Lahiri (Usuari anònim)
  4. 11
    The Ministry of Special Cases de Nathan Englander (Usuari anònim)
  5. 00
    Keturah And Lord Death de Martine Leavitt (Usuari anònim)
  6. 00
    Ingrid and the Wolf de André Alexis (Usuari anònim)
  7. 00
    Gingerbread de Robert Dinsdale (avatiakh)
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Grup TemaMissatgesÚltim missatge 
 Orange January/July: The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht40 no llegits / 40TheWriteRoomPress, octubre 2013

» Mira també 632 mencions

Anglès (332)  Neerlandès (2)  Alemany (1)  Francès (1)  Danès (1)  Totes les llengües (337)
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“We're all entitled to our superstitions.”

The Tiger’s Wife is the prize-winning debut novel by Téa Obreht, an author born in the former Yugoslavia. The book is set in an unnamed Balkan country, thought to be Serbia, and won her the Orange Prize for Fiction and nomination for many other awards. It is a dual timeline historical fiction with strong elements of magic realism and folktales.

Natalia Stefanovic lives in “The City” (probably Belgrade in Serbia, which was bombed in 1999). She has taken a trip to a clinic across the border, presumably in Croatia, with fellow-doctor Zoe to undertake immunisation of children in the area. While she is there she learns of her grandfather’s death, which inexplicably occurred in a small obscure coastal town called Zdrevkov, which no-one knew he was visiting, far from his home. Natalia tries to piece together her grandfather’s story and shed light on why he was in Zdrevkov. The book shifts between this search, and stories of her grandfather’s life. In particular it revolves around two folktales that interweave with her grandfather’s story.
“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 — of my grandfather’s days in the army; his great love for my grandmother; the years he spent as a surgeon and a tyrant of the University.”

The first story is about the “deathless man,” Gavran Gailé, who can foresee people’s deaths but is unable to die himself. The second story, the Tiger’s Wife, involves a tiger which escaped from the zoo during WWII and sheltered around her grandfather’s childhood village Galina. The tiger forms a close bond with the deaf-mute, battered wife of the butcher, and triggers the villagers’ fears, anxiety and entrenched superstitions.

The book does not clearly outline the historical events, but makes references to WWII, its aftermath, and also the subsequent wars tearing the region into pieces. It makes references to the hardships her grandfather faces as a physician, being suspected of “loyalist feelings toward the unified state” and thus being suspended from practicing medicine, but continuing in secret. It deals with the trauma of the division of Yugoslavia. “Once separate, the pieces that made up our old country no longer carried the same characteristics that had formerly represented their respective parts of the whole.”

I found this to be an intriguing and beautifully written book. The descriptions of the aftermath of the war and the superstitious beliefs and actions of the villagers were insightful and vivid. It seemed to lose momentum however in the later parts of the book. I would definitely be keen to read another book by this author. ( )
  mimbza | Apr 23, 2024 |
I had a bit of trouble getting into this novel. I liked her writing style, but not necessarily the "plot". I use the quotes because it is no means a straight forward plot as the blurb might lead you to think. Natalia is on a medical run to an orphange when she learns that her grandfather died, supposedly on his way to meet her. Interspersed between the present day accounts of the aid trip and recovering her grandfather's belongings, she tells the readers various stories. Growing up during the civil war. A tiger escaping the City Zoo during World War II, who made its way to the village Natalia's grandfather grew up in and met the woman who would be known as the Tiger's Wife. Her grandfather's repeated encounters with the deathless man.

I didn't find these stories terribly interesting at first (probably due to my lack of interest in contemporary set novels), but then a quote on the back of the book caught my eye. This quote from the Washington Post reviewer mentioned magical realism in the novel, and that gave me a bit of an 'A-ha!' moment. Once as I started to think of it more like a magical realism novel, I enjoyed the story a little bit better. Don't expect to find the kind of magical realism in this like in an Alice Hoffman novel, or in a Sarah Addison Allen novel. Only really one of the story lines can really be said to have magical elements to it. But its not a strong enough magical element to balance out my feelings towards contemporary set novels.

Being a contemporary novel aside, one thing that didn't work for me was all of the stories feel disjointed. The Red Garden is made up of a collection of stories centered around the garden. The stories in The Tiger's Wife either happened to or had a minor involvement of Natalia's grandfather. It was rather like when my grandmother starts telling stories from her youth- they could include her, ones she saw or ones she was told, but they bounce around at will, drop off at any time, and she picks them back up later. The stories might be interesting, but they kind of lose me being broken up so much.

I would definitely try more from Obreht, especially if she ventures into the historic period.
I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway for an honest review. ( )
  sawcat | Apr 8, 2024 |
This imaginative tale — rather several tales woven in and out — was an unexpected discovery that I imagine I will read again and again and glean new nuggets. Rich with folkloric stories told by a doctor grandfather to his doctor granddaughter, the main narrator, Natalia Stefanovic, and unflinching in its telling of the Balkan States’ violent history, this skillful work of allegory and fable is set in a fictional city there. The villains and outcasts who populate this novel have rich backstories, told concisely, that illuminate the people they have become. I decided to listen to the audiobook and the excellent dramatic narration by two different readers — Susan Duerden and Robin Sachs — was captivating. Tea Obrecht’s wonderful writing deserves all the praise it got when this debut novel was published in 2011. ( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
My expectations were set too high and I had difficulty getting into the story. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood. ( )
  ellink | Jan 22, 2024 |
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I was able to relax and let the story unfold I really enjoyed it! ( )
  jskeltz | Nov 23, 2023 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 337 (següent | mostra-les totes)

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (7 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Obreht, Téaautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Abarbanell, BettinaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Doeschate, Anke tenTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Duerden, SusanNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gómez Calvo, IgnacioTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kanmert Sjölander, MolleTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Sachs, RobinNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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In my earliest memory, my grandfather is bald as a stone and he takes me to see the tigers.
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Remembering childhood stories her grandfather once told her, young physician 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.

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