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5 fiction finalists for the 2011 National Book Award

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2. "The Tiger's Wife," by Téa Obreht

Téa Obreht's debut novel tells the story of a young doctor trying to solve the mystery surrounding her grandfather's death while inoculating children at an orphanage in the Balkans. Monitor critic Yvonne Zipp wrote in her review of this highly anticipated book that, "Obreht, who was born in Belgrade and escaped the Balkan War as a child, knows the magic of the words: 'let me tell you a story.' ”

(Monitor review: 3/18/11)

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