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The Tiger in the Grass: Stories and Other Inventions

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  22 reviews
This collection of 15 short pieces reveals the same startling sensitivity and sculpted prose that made Harriet Doerr's novels beloved bestsellers. In The Tiger in the Grass, Doerr explores the magical power of memory as it harvests experience, bringing us a wealth of unforgettable characters--all captured in the web of life with all the richness and beauty that distinguish ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Penguin Books (first published 1995)
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  172 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Dec 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What a sense for language! I recall that I previously read Stones for Ibarra and like it - but did not flip over it. But this book, while taking us back to Ibarra in some of the short stories (and to other places in Mexico in many others) really hits me differently. Perhaps I have changed and am not more sensitive to beauty in prose than before. In any case, there is beauty in this short read. I particularly liked the final sections.
Mary Etta
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Can't stop thinking about this. So glad daughter-in-law Karen shared the same enthusiasm when I was finishing it. Doerr's prose imagery is lasting and spawning of more and more thoughts. Audio version on a road trip.
Sylvia Tedesco
Mar 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
We read this delightful book of short pieces for our book club. Her writing is an opening onto a beautifully felt and realized world of sight, smell, touch and feeling. Her writing is simple and graceful. It is like reading poetry.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Doerr’s title and the first story in this collection comes from a visit to her optometrist. She was in her 80’s and she was hoping aloud that she didn’t lose sight in her right eye as she only had peripheral vision in her left. The doctor responded, “Don’t belittle peripheral vision. That’s how we see the tiger in the grass…It’s also how the tiger sees us.” And she knew then, that she had always known this tiger in the grass, but never had a name for him.

The vision seems to follow us throughout
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Harriet Doerr wrote two novels and this book of short stories. One could read her total works over a weekend. This is one of those authors that I really cannot say why I love their writing, except for the sense of place. You can just see the Mexico that she describes.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
Fine example of "visual writing," with memorable imagery increasing the stories' emotional impact.
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In one of the pieces in this book—hard to know where the fictional begins and the autobiographical ends—the author writes, “I think of what it is like to write stories. It is a completion. It is discovering something you didn’t know you’d lost. It is finding an answer to a question you never asked.” All the stories contain answers but few punch lines; the point is to be found somewhere else, buried. These are tales told with some subtlety and charm, two words that probably felt they’d fun out of ...more
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
A remarkable book. I've been reading sections to everyone I know for the last two weeks, starting on the walk home from the library. I was looking for a book by Anthony Doerr and saw this 2005 hardback version by the author of Stones from Ibarra (a huge favorite of mine from the 80's).

Well, from the first sentence I was in Doerr's hands/written words...I have read the first two pages to at least 15 people, especially my seniors, "Yesterday was my 85th birthday..." Then I show the students her b
Mar 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lois by: Sylvia Tedesco
This is a book you never want to finish. As you come closer to the end, you find yourself reading more and more slowly. Then, when you do finish, you feel like starting again at the beginning.
Harriet Doerr writes so tenderly with such evocative prose and economy of language that you lose yourself in it. Each of these stories and "inventions", polished by memory, is a gem. Written for a son who was dying of cancer, it was to be a brief account of her long life. The title comes from a conversation
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harriet Doerr writes beautifully intimate portraits of family in this collection of her stories.
I felt as if I was in the room watching these people.
Her love of the sea comes through the characters as well.
She reminds us of the constantness of people's lives and how we are on this planet for such a short time and we never know what life will bring for us.
There is a temperate sadness in her words and a triumph of lives lived on and on doing the best we can.
Jul 05, 2008 rated it liked it
A selection of short stories and vignettes and essays that Doerr wrote at various times during her career. They are good but not as good as her book Stones for Ibarra. I like the way she plays with the language where she seems to think of a theme and then writes about it. There are remembrances from her days in early California along the beach before it became the Mecca that it is today. Memories of Mexico where she lived for a number of years. Good writing but not great.

Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a combination of memories and stories and presumably their intersection. And it is, like Doerr's other works, simply marvelous. Set in Mexico and California in the 20th century, her work looks for beauty in people and in places and she finds it where the rest of us might not. She gentles raging emotions and moves us toward peace, for her characters, and by example, perhaps for ourselves.

She started publishing late in life and her body of work is small. READ IT ALL.
sarah  morgan
Dec 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Doerr was a fabulous writer; an inspiration to those of us who have come to writing later in life. This book is packed with sentiment, powerful images and a voice that whispers in your ear. Wonderful.
I listened to this book on tape and since the chapters were all jumbled, I listened to some twice. Eventually I decided I could not keep all female characters apart, and since most, or perhaps, all stories dealt with life in Mexico, I also could not keep the stories apart. Abandonment followed.
May 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Harriett Doerr is a wonderful writer. These are short stories and they are beautiful.
Feb 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Very well written. Quite touching.
Janelle Ebersole
Jun 27, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It drove me crazy to be pulled into a story only to have it end without no closure given.
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A short story collection, beautiful prose but I couldn't connect with the stories- they didn't really seem to go anywhere. . .
Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Very enjoyable.
The author is quite inspiring - she was first published quite late in life.
Her first book Stones for Ibarra won the National Book Award.
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Short stories from Harriet Doerr who writes with very simple, but elegant prose. I believe this was her last publication before her death.
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Harriet Doerr (April 8, 1910 – November 24, 2002) was an American author whose debut novel was published at the age of 74.

A granddaughter of California railroad magnate and noted collector of art and rare books, Henry Edwards Huntington, Doerr grew up in a Pasadena, California, family that encouraged intellectual endeavors. She enrolled in Smith College in 1927, but transferred to Stanford Univers