Téa Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife is this year’s required reading for new Steinhardt students. The book will be discussed in the New Student Seminar, a course that offers students a way to explore their role in the community using the reading as a guide.
The Tiger’s Wife tells the story of Natalia Stefanovi, a doctor living in an unnamed country who journeys to a town across her country’s new borders to administer vaccinations to orphan children. Obreht presents the reader with vivid stories about about mysterious figures in her grandfather’s life – a tiger’s wife, a deathless man – that raise questions about history, war, culture, and identity.
In Steinhardt’s New Student Seminar, freshman and transfer students will be exploring the book’s academic and philosophical themes, as well as looking at how individual circumstance and agency can influence their own personal narratives.
“We thought The Tiger’s Wife would serve as a wonderful metaphor to shape our discussion about issues that students face when they leave home and embark on college life,” said Patricia Carey, associate dean for student affairs. “Natalia’s journey is filled with discovery, surprises, and sometimes confusion, but there is much around to nourish her and give her a sense of hopefulness and excitement about things to come.”
(Illustration by Monika Aichele, New York Times)