As an avid lover of stories, it is my mission to find and search for books that provide stories that would give readers a lot to ponder as well as getting readers lost in to the world of those stories at the same time. For me, we don’t really get a lot of memorable, engaging stories written and told by authors of our younger generation as much as seasoned and renowned writers of our modern time, however with the discovery of Téa Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife, history has been made.
Obreht is a Belgrade-born American novelist who began writing the future story of The Tiger’s Wife as a graduate student of Cornell University. Drawing from her childhood memories with her grandfather visiting the zoo while living in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, Obreht crafted an elaborately clever yet very imaginative story that mixes reality and folklore altogether. In short, The Tiger’s Wife’s core tone would remind us of a good, balanced mix of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Rudyard Kipling with a touch of modern, contemporary fiction in between. Some may call this novel another form of magical realism, while others simply call it a stunning, clever piece of writing. For me, I simply call it an ambitious, imaginative contemporary literature that brings plenty of magic to the hungry reader.
The Tiger’s Wife, taking place in an unnamed country in the Balkans, is about a young doctor named Natalia, who is on a trek to search for clues regarding her grandfather’s recent death. She recalls fragmented memories of her time with her grandfather as a child, revealing to us her grandfather’s wisdom and his penchant for telling stories; in particular, the story of the deathless man and the story her grandfather never told her, which is the story of the tiger’s wife. As a reminiscent of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin, and the novel I’m currently reading, Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge gives us a mesh of three stories: Natalia’s quest with an orphanage as a doctor, her grandfather’s encounters with the deathless man, and the story of a young deaf-mute Muslim girl — whom the villagers referred to as the tiger’s wife — who befriended a loose tiger .