When The New Yorker ran an excerpt of The Tiger’s Wife in its 2009 Fiction issue, it was clear an astonishing new talent had arrived in the world of contemporary fiction.
The time: the present. The place: a Balkan country ravaged by years of conflict. Natalia, a young doctor, is on a... read more
“You know I've no patience for fools.”Grandfather
“Zora was a woman of principle, an open atheist. At the age of thirteen, a priest had told her that animals had no souls, and she had said, 'Well then, f**k you, Pops,' and walked out of church.”Zora
“My mother always says that fear and pain are immediate, and that, when they're gone, we're left with the concept, but not the true memory - why else, she reasons, would anyone give birth more than once?”Natalia's mother
When your fight has purpose—to free you from something, to interfere on the behalf of an innocent—it has a hope of finality. When the fight is about unraveling—when it is about your name, the places to which your blood is anchored, the attachment of your name to some landmark or event—there is nothing but hate, and the long, slow progression of people who feed on it and are fed it, meticulously, by the ones who come before them. Then the fight is endless, and comes in waves and waves, but always retains its capacity to surprise those who hope against it.Highlighted by 289 Kindle customers
“When men die, they die in fear,” he said. “They take everything they need from you, and as a doctor it is your job to give it, to comfort them, to hold their hand. But children die how they have been living—in hope. They don’t know what’s happening, so they expect nothing, they don’t ask you to hold their hand—but you end up needing them to hold yours. With children, you’re on your own. Do you understand?”Highlighted by 264 Kindle customers
In the end, all you want is someone to long for you when it comes time to put you in the ground.Highlighted by 202 Kindle customers
My mother always says that fear and pain are immediate, and that, when they’re gone, we’re left with the concept, but not the true memory—why else, she reasons, would anyone give birth more than once?Highlighted by 190 Kindle customers
He learned, too, that when confounded by the extremes of life—whether good or bad—people would turn first to superstition to find meaning, to stitch together unconnected events in order to understand what was happening. He learned that, no matter how grave the secret, how imperative absolute silence, someone would always feel the urge to confess, and an unleashed secret was a terrible force.Highlighted by 127 Kindle customers
The fact that you are in a hurry is of no particular interest to them; in their opinion, if you are making your journey in a hurry, you are making it poorly.Highlighted by 99 Kindle customers
“But the greatest fear is that of uncertainty,” Gavran Gailé is saying. “They are uncertain about meeting my uncle, of course. But they are uncertain, above all, of their own inaction: have they done enough, discovered their illness soon enough, consulted the worthiest physicians, consumed the best medicines, uttered the correct prayers?”Highlighted by 92 Kindle customers
“Fuck. You go looking for a gnat and you find a donkey.”Highlighted by 85 Kindle customers
The distance of the fighting created the illusion of normalcy, but the new rules resulted in an attitude shift that did not suit the Administration’s plans. They were going for structure, control, for panic that produced submission—what they got instead was social looseness and lunacy.Highlighted by 82 Kindle customers
EVERYTHING NECESSARY TO UNDERSTAND MY GRANDFATHER lies between two stories: the story of the tiger’s wife, and the story of the deathless man. These stories run like secret rivers through all the other stories of his life—of my grandfather’s days in the army; his great love for my grandmother; the years he spent as a surgeon and a tyrant of the University. One, which I learned after his death, is the story of how my grandfather became a man; the other, which he told to me, is of how he became a child again.Highlighted by 73 Kindle customers
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