February's Book: The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obreht

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

February’s Leonard Lopate Show Book Club selection is Téa Obreht’s critically acclaimed novel, The Tiger’s Wife. It tells the story of Natalia, a young doctor in an unnamed Balkan country still recovering from war, who starts investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of her grandfather who raised her. As she investigates his death, the complexities of life, war, and her grandfather’s life come to light.


Téa Obreht

Comments [15]

Lori Ferrara from my commputer

i loved the shoemakers book thank you i tried to get you but i'm not able sorry

Nov. 29 2012 05:58 PM
P. Bergen from New Jersey

This wonderful novel is layered , complex and exquisitely written. Although death was surely a central theme,it was courageously threaded throughout with imagination and tenderness. Where is the line between surrealism and reality? How do stories amongst people evolve? What is their importance? The use of fantasy was reminiscent of some of Mark Helperin's work( Winters Tale, Memoirs of Ant-Proof Case)but significant that it was used in a contemporary setting.Despite a few minor flaws,when I finally closed the cover,I had to sit quietly for a time, a long time.

Feb. 08 2012 01:22 PM
Lorraine Furey

Has there been any mention of the similarities between this book and "The Life Of Pi"? in that the animals are used to 'mask' the human activities and thoughts? ( i tuned in late)

Feb. 08 2012 12:57 PM
Barry from NJ

Issues of paternity pervade the novel, from Natalia's absent father to the question of the father of the the tiger's wife's baby and others. How much are these concerns important to the author?

Feb. 08 2012 12:55 PM
Sherril from Morris Plains, NJ

My book club read your book and loved it. We all agreed on one failure. We are various ages and all felt we did not know enough about conflict and we hungered for learning more about the history of that part of the world, most especially around the war and the horrific events.

Feb. 08 2012 12:52 PM
Susan from New York

We read this book in our book club about a year ago and we had a debate about the undead man (can't remember what he was called - sorry!) Anyway we were wondering if he was showing the need for balance between life and death, joy and sorrow? Or was there a different signifiance? And also if it was based on a local myth?

Feb. 08 2012 12:39 PM
jeff from manhattan

I'm 75 pages into the novel and enjoying it very much. Having a Hungarian background myself I've always been fascinated by vampires. How much do people really believe in vampires in the small villages?

Feb. 08 2012 12:38 PM
Jeb from Greenpoint

Maps and the way borders can change is a key part of the novel. Can she please discuss how geography shapes and reshapes people and identity?

Feb. 08 2012 12:32 PM
Victoria Stone from Northport, NY

I enjoyed Tea Obreht's haunting and evocative novel. But I was mystified by her choice of title, as the book was more about Natalia's grandfather than the tiger's wife.

Feb. 08 2012 12:11 PM
David from Westfield

I am struck by Ms. Obreht's preternatural wisdom and eloquence, almost as though her grandfather occupies her very being. Can the writing of this phenomenal fable have felt like an out of body experience to her? I am curious to know when she began to write in her native language (that is, at what age did she begin to think of writing as her destined craft), then when she began writing in English. She has an uncanny command of language she shares with a few other emigre writers of elegant English prose, notably Nabokov.

Feb. 08 2012 06:22 AM
Maripos from NYC

I was wondering how Tea researches the information she used in constructing this story. Such as the mythology, war, and being a doctor in a war torn country and crossing boarders, I liked the book very much and have heard her speak of her pulling from her life but would like to hear more about her writing process and the things she created that we're not inspired from her memories and real life.

Thanks Leonard! Love the book club!!!!

Feb. 07 2012 11:05 PM
Lynn from edison, nj

loved the book and the style of writing and am willing to suspend realism in literature. nevertheless, I keep asking myself, how did the tiger's wife get pregnant? too shallow a question? hope not.

Feb. 07 2012 02:25 PM
Lili P from NJ

The use of the fables reminded me why I so enjoyed When the Elephants Dance and Kiss of the Spider Woman. It was a pleasure to read The Tiger's Wife - refreshingly unpredictable and intelligently written. Looking forward to hearing Tea Obreht.

Feb. 06 2012 01:31 PM
Arlette Sanders

Loved the seems to address the power of myth and is a aean of love to her father.....and it expresses that stories can offset the horror of tragedy and war........she is an incredible writer and the youngest of the 40 Under 40 crowd! Gorgeous writing and extraordinarily complex and yet simple tale!!!! desreved all awards it won

Jan. 18 2012 09:23 PM
Lee Bartell from NYC

Kudos to Tea Obreht for writing such a compelling, poignant, remarkable novel. I loved it from the first sentence through to its last. She's a first rate creative story teller, and I look forward to reading her next book, and the ones after that.

Jan. 12 2012 12:43 PM

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