Rereading ‘The Tiger’s Wife’ by Téa Obreht

Several days ago, I posted some ideas that a story happens in a place and can be revisited like any tourist destination. I especially like returning to places filled with magical realism since I often write in that genre. So it is that I decided to reread The Tiger’s Wife which NPR reviewed as Magical Realism Meets Big Cats.

I’m rereading the book now because I wanted to take another look at it before finally getting around to reading Inland, a novel set in the American Southwest.

NPR wrote that “The Tiger’s Wife rests securely in the genre of magical realism, inciting comparisons to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and even Kafka.” The reviewer thought that the ending was too abrupt. I didn’t in my April 2011 review: “The Tiger’s Wife is dark and deep and perfectly crafted, and if you allow yourself to be immersed in it, you will see the blazing eyes of Shere Khan.” The novel won the Orange Prize for Fiction and was a 2011 National Book Award finalist.

From the Publisher

Author’s Website

“Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend, loss, and love, Téa Obreht, the youngest of The New Yorker’s twenty best American fiction writers under forty, has spun a timeless novel that will establish her as one of the most vibrant, original authors of her generation.

In a Balkan country mending from war, Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Book and the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with “the deathless man.” But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her—the legend of the tiger’s wife.”

Téa Obreht was born Tea Bajraktarević in the autumn of 1985, in BelgradeSR SerbiaSFR Yugoslavia, the only child of a single mother, Maja Obreht, while her father, a Bosniak,[10] was “never part of the picture.” – Wikipedia .


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of Eulalie and Washerwoman, magical realism set in the backwoods of the Florida Panhandle in the 1950s.