Reading: Tea Obreht

The vagaries of library New Book shelves and my own TBR brought to me two books in a row written by people born in Belgrade. Surely unusual for a reader who is not herself Serb?  Téa Obreht’s author photo makes her look like a Minnesota homecoming queen (I mean, she is young, blonde, and perfectly lovely), a schoolgirlishness refuted by the confidence and sophistication of her prose. (Not everyone agrees.)

Zora finished her cigarette, but continued to hover, peering out the window.  Then she checked the bedroom door.

“Do you suppose they lock up downstairs?”

“Probably not,” I said.  “Doors are probably wide open, and blowing a breeze of paramilitary rapists.”

She turned out the light reluctantly, and for a long time there was silence.  She was awake and staring at me, and I was waiting for her to drift off so I wouldn’t have to think of something to say.

Downstairs, muffled by the towel covering his cage, the parrot said: “Wash the bones, bring the body, leave the heart behind.”

The Tiger’s Wife, p 31


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