Eight years after making waves with her electric debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife, Téa Obreht makes this most welcome return for her much-anticipated new novel, Inland (Random House). This novel, both very different than its much-honored predecessor, but also bearing signs of Téa Obreht’s unmistakable gifts and talents with language and story, is set in a drought-plagued corner of the U.S. in the late 19th-century. A story written with fierce beauty, one with mythic gravity and resonance, this is one not to be missed.
“Obreht brings her extraordinarily intricate worldview, psychological and social acuity, descriptive artistry, and shrewd, witty, and zestful storytelling to another provocative inquiry into the mysteries of place, nature, and human complexities...Obreht inventively and scathingly dramatizes the delirium of the West—its myths, hardships, greed, racism, sexism, and violence—in a tornadic novel of stoicism, anguish, and wonder.”—Booklist.
“A frontier tale dazzles with camels and wolves and two characters who never quite meet. Eight years after Obreht’s sensational debut, The Tiger’s Wife, she returns with a novel saturated in enough realism and magic to make the ghost of Gabriel García Márquez grin. She keeps her penchant for animals and the dead but switches up centuries and continents. Having won an Orange Prize for The Tiger’s Wife, a mesmerizing 20th-century Balkan folktale, Obreht cuts her new story from a mythmaking swatch of the Arizona Territory in 1893. The book alternates between the narratives of two complex, beset protagonists: Lurie, an orphan and outcast who killed a boy, and Nora, a prickly frontierswoman with her own guilty conscience. Both speak to the dead. Lurie sees ghosts from early childhood and acquires their “wants,” while Nora keeps up a running conversation with her daughter, Evelyn, dead of heatstroke as a baby but aging into a fine young woman in her mother’s mind. Obreht throws readers into the swift river of her imagination…A deep stoicism, flinty humor, and awe at the natural world pervade these characters. They are both treacherous and good company...The final, luminous chapter is six pages that will take your breath away.” - Kirkus Reviews. We agree.