Téa Obreht “The Tiger’s Wife”

April 22nd, 2011

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A man who cannot die. A deaf-mute woman who befriends an escaped zoo tiger. A family desperate to find the bones they believe will lift a curse. Téa Obreht peoples her impressive debut novel “The Tiger’s Wife” with timeless characters, in a setting that closely resembles the Croatia of her birth.

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Protagonist Natalia Stefanovi, a doctor, is also searching for something. She needs to find out what happened to her grandfather — himself a doctor — who died under mysterious circumstances in a place where no one expected to find him. Looking for answers leads Natalia to relive blissful memories of her grandfather and what he left her.

Tea  ObrehtObreht

This acclaimed first novel may be all the more remarkable, given that Téa Obreht is only in her mid 20s, the youngest of the New Yorker’s 20-under-40.

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David Wroblewski “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle”

June 30th, 2008

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It is a rare writing debut that inspires the sort of adulation that David Wroblewski has received for his first novel “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.”

David  WroblewskiWroblewski

The title character is a mute Wisconsin farm boy, whose unique coming of age takes place largely in the wild, with three dogs as his companions. But then again, it would be thoroughly misleading and incomplete to characterize this as either a dog story, a coming of age story, or even a family drama.

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Nathaniel Rich “The Mayor’s Tongue”

May 1st, 2008

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A young man and an old man, each from New York and each on a quest, both end up in Italy in the debut novel by Nathaniel Rich, “The Mayor’s Tongue.”

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Not just anywhere in Italy, mind you, but a particular, borderlands region of northern Italy, where the normal definitions of reality don’t always seem to fit just right. It’s a mosaic of love, madness, and language.

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Keith Gessen “All the Sad Young Literary Men”

April 24th, 2008

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Three young men not long out of college discover that it’s tougher than they thought to carve out careers, relationships, and a life, in Keith Gessen‘s debut novel “All the Sad Young Literary Men.”

Keith  GessenGessen

In what Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post called “a considerably better-than-average exercise in slacker fiction,” Mark, Sam and Keith work to liberate their inner intellectuals, while staying in step with the larger world.

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Junot Diaz “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”

September 9th, 2007

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Meet Oscar Wao, a chubby fanboy nerd who lives in New Jersey with his mother and his sister. Oscar’s a first-generation Dominican-American, dreaming of being a sci-fi author but dealing in the meantime with the challenges of youth, including the longing for a romance.

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In the debut novel by Junot Diaz, called “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” we come to understand Oscar not by meeting him or hearing directly from him, but through those who know him.

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