when confounded by the extremes of life ... people would turn first to superstition ... to stitch together unconnected events in order to understand what was happening.This is a story with ghosts and a deathless man that double-crossed the devil and can't not die, but knows when others are going. Of course, there is also the Tiger's wife who we only know by all the rumors around her, her abusive husband, and a tiger that may or may not exist, and may of may not have escaped from the zoo, that may or may not open again.
It is also a story of hope and hopelessness.
When your fight has purpose - to free you from something ... - it has a hope of finality. When the fight is about ... your name, the places where your blood is anchored ... there is nothing but hate ...This surreal tale highlights the horror of the people living within the war zone, their terror and frustrations and the ordinary things that continue within the fighting. Happy things like reading a favorite book book and sad things like chronic diseases.
Tea Obreht brings war alive with the daily lives of those behind the front lines and outside the battle, but certainly not outside the emotional distress.