Abraham Verghese

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

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“Cutting for Stone” is a novel written by Indian-American author Abraham Verghese. Published in 2009, the book is a sweeping and immersive work that explores themes of family, medicine, identity, and the complexities of human relationships. The novel is set against the backdrop of Ethiopia and the United States.

The story follows the lives of twin brothers, Marion and Shiva Stone, who are born to a nun at a missionary hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The boys’ mother dies during childbirth, and their father, a British surgeon, abandons them. The brothers grow up in the hospital compound, with Marion pursuing a career in medicine and Shiva becoming a talented surgeon.

As the narrative unfolds, the characters navigate personal challenges, political turmoil, and the legacy of their past. The story spans continents and decades, offering a vivid portrayal of life in Ethiopia and the United States, as well as the cultural clashes and connections that shape the characters’ lives.

“Cutting for Stone” delves into the intricacies of medical practice and the profound impact that physicians have on their patients and the world around them. The novel also explores the bond between the brothers, their individual paths, and their shared heritage.

Abraham Verghese, a physician himself, brings his medical expertise to the novel, infusing it with authentic details and insights into the world of medicine. His writing style is known for its rich descriptions, emotional depth, and ability to capture the complexities of human emotions and relationships.

The novel has been praised for its engaging storytelling, well-developed characters, and exploration of themes such as cultural identity, love, and forgiveness. It combines medical drama with family saga, offering a unique and multifaceted reading experience.


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