Natalia is a young doctor living in an unnamed Balkan City that has been devastated and broken by years of war. While en route to an orphanage located in enemy territory, she receives word that her beloved grandfather has died far from home. Since he was a well-respected doctor and a very rational man, the circumstances surrounding his death are confusing and mysterious. Beset by memories of tales her grandfather told her as a child, she becomes convinced that his last journey was in search of the "deathless man," a drifter who claimed to be immortal.
Filled with myths, fables, superstitions and a touch of magical realism, The Tiger's Wife
alternates between grandfather's past and Natalia's present. As Natalia is lured into her grandfather's past, she must piece together the puzzle while reconciling the present state that her country is in. Stories of the tiger who escaped from the zoo when the city was bombed by the German's, the woman from his village who became known as the tiger's wife and the mysterious deathless man, are brought to life by the author's rich prose and honest portrayal of life in her embattled country of origin. Tea Obreht is an author to watch, immensely talented and wise way beyond her years.