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Tea Obreht Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Tiger's Wife (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Inland (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Tea Obreht was born in the year 1985 in the former Yugoslavia, before leaving in the year 1992 after things got pretty heated there. She spent a year in Cyprus and and three and a half years in Egypt before she eventually moved to America in the year 1997.

She was the only child of Maja, a single mother, while her dad, who was a Bosniak, was never a part of the picture. Due to her lack of a father figure, she was close to her maternal grandparents, especially Stefan, her grandpa who is Slovene of German origin and Zahida, her grandma a Bosniak.

At the age of eight, she penned her first story and has been writing ever since then.

While on his deathbed, Tea’s grandpa asked her to write her stories under his surname of Obreht, and she later changed her name legally, too.

After she graduated from the University of Southern California, she got her MFA in fiction from Cornell University’s creative writing program.

When she started going to USC, she wrote pretty prolifically. For a year, while she was at USC, she did not write because her progress hit a wall, and did not write at all during this time. The only way, she felt, for the wall to go away was just to wait it out.

Tea says that if she was not working as a writer, she would be teaching creative writing, a course she taught in the year 2009. She says that she loves the excitement the students give off, as they get a sort of freedom when they write.

Her first book, “The Tiger’s Wife” was written as a response to a lost loved one, a grandfather that basically raised her. In it, she eulogized not just a relationship she shared, but also a particular part of life. She went through many false starts, to figure out her way to a project where she was able to find the same synthesis of subject and psychological state again. When it came together, the writing had changed. It is not like work, or feel like sentences in some holding pattern. It becomes necessity, and, of course, revision.

“The Tiger’s Wife” started out as a terrible short story and it took a ton of abuse in workshops. The story failed, but she was attached to something in it and was not willing to give up on: the tiger. She says that writing the sections of the tiger were her very favorite part of the entire process. She skips around a lot and does not write in any chronological order. She wanted to stay with his character and go on the journey with him, and these parts got written first.

It was important to Tea to see that she does not believe in a wasted draft. She will tell students that even the work they see as their worst can be good for something. Each and every effort they make will teach you about desires and tendencies, or takes you to some new possibility or shuts the door on something you thought mistakenly was the correct one.

Tea’s work has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Zoetrope: All-Story, The New York Times, and the Guardian. Her work has been anthologized in The Best American Non-Required Reading and The Best Short Stories.

“The Tiger’s Wife” was nominated for a National Book Award for Fiction Best Book in the year 2011. It won a Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Best Book that same year. It also won the British Orange Prize for Fiction that same year, and was the youngest winner of the award in the fifteen years it had been given out. National Book Foundation listed her in the 5 Under 35, and The New Yorker as one of the twenty best American fiction writers under the age of forty.

She writes literary fiction. Her debut novel, “The Tiger’s Wife” was released in the year 2011.

“The Tiger’s Wife” is the first stand alone novel, which was released in the year 2011. The novel takes place in present day, in a Balkan country that has been ravaged by many years of conflict. Natalia, a young doctor, is currently on a mission of mercy to an orphanage when she gets word of her beloved grandpa’s dying far away from their home under circumstances that is shrouded in confusion.

Remembering childhood stories that her grandpa told her, Natalia is convinced that he spent his final days looking for “the deathless man”. He is a vagabond that claimed to be immortal. Natalia struggles to figure out why her grandpa, who was a rational man, would go off on a farfetched journey, she comes across a clue that leads her to the story of the tiger’s wife.

Tea shows a lot of the history behind each and every place she takes the story to. She also does a great job of showing the different responses to death. The novel is one to be read slowly and with great attention, to take it all in. Tea has penned a mesmerizing novel that is filled with beautiful, horrible force.

“Inland” is the second stand alone novel, which was released in the year 2019. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman that is waiting for the men in her life to return. The husband that went to search for water for the parched house, and her older sons that vanished after a rather explosive fight. Nora bides her time with her youngest, who has convinced himself a mysterious beast stalks the land around their home. There is also her husband’s seventeen year old cousin that communes with spirits.

Lurie is a man haunted by ghosts and a former outlaw. He sees different lost souls that want something from him, and finds a reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires an important expedition across the West.

The book has some nice surprises and twists, a sense of foreboding the entire way, and it steadily builds up suspense. Tea’s imagery is brilliant and important in a novel that is just as much about the land as it is about the people inhabiting this world.

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