Congratulations Tea – the youngest-ever author to take the Prize.
Although a very tough field to compete in this year, leading up to the announcement the hot favourite to take the prize was Emma Donoghue’s Room, the only title amongst the 2011 Orange Prize Short List that I had read prior to the announcement.
Emma Donoghue (Irish) – Room; Picador; 7th Novel
Aminatta Forna (British/Sierra Leonean) – The Memory of Love; Bloomsbury; 2nd Novel
Emma Henderson (British) – Grace Williams Says it Loud; Sceptre; 1st Novel
Nicole Krauss (American) – Great House; Viking; 3rd Novel
Téa Obreht (Serbian/American) – The Tiger’s Wife; Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 1st Novel
Kathleen Winter (Canadian) – Annabel; Jonathan Cape; 1st Novel
I’ve had The Memory of Love, Great House and The Tiger’s Wife on my wishlist for some time now. And, surely winning the Orange Prize is as good a reason as any to commit to purchase, so I’ve just bought The Tiger’s Wife for my Kindle.
I’ve read mixed reviews, but the synopsis intrigues me.
A tiger escapes from the local zoo, padding through the ruined streets and onwards, to a ridge above the Balkan village of Galina. His nocturnal visits hold the villagers in a terrified thrall. But for one boy, the tiger is a thing of magic – Shere Khan awoken from the pages of The Jungle Book.
Natalia is the granddaughter of that boy. Now a doctor, she is visiting orphanages after another war has devastated the Balkans. On this journey, she receives word of her beloved grandfather’s death, far from their home, in circumstances shrouded in mystery. From fragments of stories her grandfather told her as a child, Natalia realises he may have died searching for ‘the deathless man’, a vagabond who was said to be immortal. Struggling to understand why a man of science would undertake such a quest, she stumbles upon a clue that will lead her to a tattered copy of The Jungle Book, and then to the extraordinary story of the tiger’s wife.
And I’ll admit, I am swayed by this endorsement from Colum McCann, author of Let The Great World Spin, a book I enjoyed immensely.
“Téa Obreht is the most thrilling literary discovery in years.” — Colum McCann
Here are a selection of reviews: