What We’re Reading: Cutting for Stone

Editors will tell you that there’s an occupational hazard that comes with the job. To wit: it can be hard to carve out time to read totally and utterly for pleasure.

That is why I am so late coming to the  writing of Dr. Abraham Verghese. Earlier this year I read his first book, MY OWN COUNTRY, and was absolutely knocked out. His account of caring for AIDS patients in rural Tennessee in the 1980s is one of the best, most moving, and most surprising memoirs I’ve ever read.

Then, over my summer vacation, and on the recommendation of so many people, I devoured his debut novel, CUTTING FOR STONE. A bookseller friend of mine in San Francisco tells me that “everyone is reading that book” and now I can see why. This is big-time, old- fashioned storytelling, reinvigorated for a modern age, that takes you to places you never expected to go. I knew nothing of Indian-born doctors living in Addis Ababa in the 1950s but by the end of this book, I felt they had become part of my interior landscape. Verghese, one senses, is steeped in Shakespeare, the Bible, the richness of English literature and his writing makes for totally absorbing company.

Now, having read a profile of him in the New York Times about his work as a physician at Stanford University, I only wish he could be my doctor: an extraordinary man clearly and an extraordinary writer.

–Jane Rosenman, Editor

3 Comments On This Post:

October 26, 2010
12:31 pm
Erin says...

I still have not read this book! It’s been on my list since it first came out. “Big-time, old-fashioned storytelling” sounds wonderful.

October 26, 2010
7:50 pm
Chris stuckenschneider says...

Read this when it released in hardcover. Stone remains a top pick. Read about it on MO Books blog, emissourian.com

October 27, 2010
11:43 am
Kim says...

Loved the book and his exploration of what is family and home. I appreciated learning about Ethiopia from someone who didn’t hide its problems but clearly loved the country.

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