Tea Obreht is only 25 but has written a novel showing a maturity beyond her years and a bright future as a writer. Before she published this novel she had written only short stories and had been placed on the New Yorker's list of best twenty writers under forty.

This book is an unusual tale and recommended for those who like Magic Realism.Set in the Balkans (Serbia &Croatia?),it tells the story of Natalia, a young doctor, who is trying to unravel the mystery of her grandfather's death.As she investigates his death she finds out facts about his life she never knew and which explain his behaviour. The relationship between the Muslims and the Christians is explored in the story of the character known as the Tiger's Wife.The impact of foreign occupation, wars, religion and folklore on the peasants of the region and how they view life is also illustrated in the novel. The story is interwoven with stories from local folklore and "the deathless man" character has echoes of the vampire stories prevalent in the region.After all this is the home of Dracula!

I enjoyed this book because of the unusual setting and the excellent writing.

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I read in Spectrum on the weekend that she will be here for the Sydney Writer's Festival starting this week!



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