Marisette Edwards-van Linden van den Heuvell

Why ‘Tiger in the Dark’?

What is behind the title ‘Tiger in the Dark’?

I’m tempted to keep it a mystery so you’ll want to read the book.

Actually I have my 25-year-old son to thank for the title. I tried a lot of them out on him, and this is the only one that made him say, “yes, I’d stop to see what that was about.”

The tiger appeared to me in a dream. Well, a nightmare really. I was in a beach house with a bunch of people. We were on vacation together. Somehow a tiger got into the house and the consensus of all the other people was that turning the lights off would keep them safe from the tiger. I protested, telling them that the tiger has superior night vision and turning off the lights would only give him the advantage. They insisted on turning off the lights. I decided that my best chance would be to go inside a small room where at least I could feel the walls and door and keep the door closed against the beast. As I blindly stumbled into the room, I ran smack into the tiger’s massive head. Instead of getting scared, I got mad. I started yelling, “Get out of here! Get out of here!” At that point my husband woke me up because I had been screaming for real.

Upon analyzing the dream, I realized that the tiger was my cancer. Many people wanted to ignore the fact that I had cancer and stay in the dark about it. I didn’t, and I was resentful that I had to go along with their wishes. I was afraid of the tiger/cancer, but felt like the best defense was to get it out in the light and not let it sneak up on me. Mostly I was angry at it for forcing me to defend myself, especially because I was feeling my way around blindly in the process.

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