The Tiger's Wife

9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11½ hrs. Books on Tape. 2011. ISBN 9780307877024. $40; 9 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; digital download. F
Natalia tells stories of her growing up in a country divided by the arbitrary borders of ethnicity and war and describes the difficulty of living there. To come to terms with the present, the narrator recounts tales from the past, which are a mixture of reality and magic—the deathless man, the tiger's (human) wife, Darisa the bear, the butcher musician, etc. The majority of the book is read by Susan Duerden, in a manner smooth and empathic. Her voice carries the lost bewilderment Natalia feels when she learns her grandfather is dead as well as the casual hardness of a teenager and later young medical student who dispassionately describes war, personal rebellion, and the methods of obtaining bodies for dissection. Robin Sachs reads Natalia's grandfather's story of the deathless man. The male voice with the Eastern European accent distances the tale from the context set by Natalia's feminine voice and adds to the storytelling flavor. ["This complex, humbling, and beautifully crafted debut is highly recommended for anyone seriously interested in contemporary fiction," read the review of the New York Times best-selling Random hc, LJ 1/11.—Ed.]—Juleigh Muirhead Clark, Colonial Williamsburg Fdn. Lib., VA

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