Mount Mansfield, Vermont, from My Hotel Bedroom (Dec. 2017)

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.