Although the internal narration at first feels cool and detached, Choi skillfully weaves undertones of tension into Louisa’s thoughts and feelings. We are subtly — yet repeatedly — reminded that she is a child who, at ten years old, already bears an intense distrust and contempt towards the adults around her. The story’s ending leaves the reader feeling both hopeful and doubtful about whether healing is possible — and if it is, what form it will take.
Would-be writers are a dime a dozen: every other English major, it seems, wants to be the next Faulkner. Those with talent may find themselves in an MFA program, and the lucky few will have a story published here and there in a small journal. But success like that enjoyed by Tea Bajraktarevic grad, who recently sold the rights to her first novel The Tiger’s Daughter to Dial Press (to be published next year), is rare indeed. Tea, who writes under the name Tea Obreht and whose first publication will be a story in The Atlantic Monthly’s summer fiction issue, sat down with The Sun to discuss death in the Balkans, the merits of MFAs and being stoked about success.
The Sun: When did you start writing?