Writer Wednesday: The Tiger’s Wife

It’s time for Writer Wednesday, when I discuss another author and his or her book. The Tiger’s Wife is one of those books that I had heard quite a bit about for awhile and was curious to read. Téa Obreht, its author, was the youngest winner of the Orange Award in 2011 for it, which has since been renamed the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

In her own words, quoted from the Cornell Daily Sun,  it’s about, “a family saga that takes place in a fictionalized province of the Balkans. It’s about a female narrator and her relationship to her grandfather, who’s a doctor. It’s a saga about doctors and their relationships to death throughout all these wars in the Balkans.”

Part history, part moral, and part magic there is an interesting interplay of story and character. Metaphors exist not only through setting or theme, but in the embodiment of whole characters. This interaction with shadowy figures and the exploration of another culture’s beliefs surrounding life and after life, made me think of Yangsze Choos’ fascinating novel, The Ghost Bride.

There is also a scene in the snow with the tiger which lends itself to Monday’s discussion of seasons as meaning and the backdrop of snow for a theme.

After reading The Tiger’s Wife, I was left with a sense that this is the story of what we want to survive. Fairytales, memories, and the people that are most important to us are at the heart of that and link the many and varied threads of this tapestry of a book. Perhaps, the tiger is what we want to survive and we wish to remain the companion of what we hope survives; that is, perhaps, we are metaphorically the tiger’s wife.

Your thoughts are welcomed below!

My best to you all,

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