Thursday, July 21, 2011

About Not Reading The Tiger's Wife

Sometimes I'm either disappointed in myself or mad at myself for rejecting a book that's been universally acknowledged as having outstanding literary merit.

Tea Obreht (accent on the e in Tea) has received a groundswell of critical acclaim for her first novel, The Tiger's Wife, and I predict it will land on most of the "Best of 2011" book lists. So why am I refusing to continue with it?

I regret to say that the lack of a specific setting has driven me batty. The novel is set "in a Balkan country;" the names of all the cities, towns, and places are invented; and the talk of an unidentified "border" that can't be crossed and "taking the ferry" across a nameless body of water are problems for this reason: The novel deals with war and political issues from the recent and mid-twentieth century "Balkan" past. In other words, if the book were domestic fiction or a crime thriller, I could deal better with being unrooted in time and place. At least I think I could.

Maybe at some other time, after people I know have read it and found it worthwhile, I'll try it again. I'll leave you with a fascinating article about Obreht's past.

1 comment:

  1. I did finish it, but it's one of those books I probably wouldn't have before I started blogging about books. I finished so I could talk about it, and I did enjoy parts of it, but one the whole the writing far outshone the story.