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