What a strange few days it’s been. A lengthy, though surprisingly pleasant, drive to Pittsburgh over the weekend has me fully comprehending the intensity of my road trip next spring, and I’m $300 in the hole after the belated discovery that I’d misplaced my keys somewhere in central Pennsylvania. (On the upside, the locksmith said the front door to my apartment had the most poorly cut deadbolt hole he’d ever seen. So there you go—another victory of inconvenience for Bushwick. )
I was of course also saddened to hear about Nora Ephron’s death (I had somewhat presciently called her last book a goodbye book) and even though I don’t subscribe to the the whole afterlife thing, I hope she’s at some airy café in the sky, drinking black coffee and annoying waiters alongside an equally grumpy Ray Bradbury. I hope they have a nice long chat about having gotten the hell out of Dodge before someone forced them to join Twitter.
Still, amid all the goings-on this week, I did manage to finish Téa Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife, which I’ve been meaning to read since it was named to the New York Times’ Best Books of 2011 list last year (leaving Swamplandia! and Ten Thousand Saints as the two fiction titles on the list that I have yet to read.) Set in an intentionally unidentifiable Balkan country, the novel follows Natalia, a “young doctor who tries to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Book and the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with ‘the deathless man.’ But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her—the legend of the tiger’s wife.” (I was too lazy to summarize the plot any more efficiently than it was outlined on the back of the book.) Continue reading