There are many fine novels published every year, but occasionally one
stands out as exemplary. Cutting
for Stone is a masterful epic.
Twin boys are born to a nun and a doctor, coming into the world from a
womb that should never have given them shelter.
Their birth takes the life of the nun; the doctor flees, leaving the
babies orphaned in an Ethiopian hospital.
Growing up to walk in their father’s shoes, the boys become doctors. The
story moves back and forth in time and across continents, from India to
Ethiopia to New York. The writing is
sublime, the story mesmerizing.
February 2009 Indie Next List
“Cutting for Stone resists easy categorization -- it is just as much the chronicle of a bond between twin brothers and family as it is a book about medicine, or a story of grace. Verghese's carefully drawn characters are compelling and unforgettable -- this is a book you will have to share with others, if you can bear parting with your copy.”
— Meredith Allison, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX
Summer '10 Reading Group List
“This sumptuous tale is one of lives, fates, and destinies, how things separate are connected and how those connected are separate. Birth and death are at the outset - and then, pulsingly, heartfully, carry on companionably all the way through. Lifelong wonderings and longings bridge the geography and time spanned. This is like one of the great life-and-death, myth-and-legend sagas with war, famine, exile, love, betrayal, great tenderness and compassion, a cast
of characters, and the work of some larger powers all going on.”
— Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
A sweeping, emotionally riveting novel with over one million copies sold—an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home.
Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.
Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City and back again, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles—and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined.
About the Author
Abraham Verghese is Professor and Vice Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The founding director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, he is the author of My Own Country, a 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist and a Time Best Book of the Year; The Tennis Partner, a New York Times Notable Book; and, most recently, the critically acclaimed novel Cutting for Stone, which was a national bestseller. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, his essays and short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Granta, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. In 2016 Verghese received a National Humanities Medal from President Obama. He lives in Palo Alto, California.
“A winner. . . . Filled with mystical scenes and deeply felt characters. . . . Verghese is something of a magician as a novelist.”
“A masterpiece. . . . Not a word is wasted in this larger-than-life saga. . . . Verghese expertly weaves the threads of numerous story lines into one cohesive opus. The writing is graceful, the characters compassionate and the story full of nuggets of wisdom.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Lush and exotic. . . . The kind [of novel] Richard Russo or Cormac McCarthy might write. . . . Shows how history and landscape and accidents of birth conspire to create the story of a single life. . . . Verghese creates this story so lovingly that it is actually possible to live within it for the brief time one spends with this book. You may never leave the chair.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Vivid. . . . Cutting for Stone shines.”
—The Washington Post Book World
“Absorbing, exhilarating. . . . If you’re hungry for an epic . . . open the covers of Cutting for Stone, [then] don’t expect to do much else.”
—The Seattle Times
“Wildly imaginative. . . . Verghese has the rare gift of showing his characters in different lights as the story evolves, from tragedy to comedy to melodrama, with an ending that is part Dickens, part Grey’s Anatomy. The novel works as a family saga, but it is also something more, a lovely ode to the medical profession.”
“Compelling. . . . Readers will put this novel down at book’s end knowing that it will stick with them for a long time to come.”
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“The novel is full of compassion and wise vision. . . . I feel I changed forever after reading this book, as if an entire universe had been illuminated for me. It’s an astonishing accomplishment to make such a foreign world familiar to a reader by the book’s end.”
—Sandra Cisneros, San Antonio Express-News
“Tremendous. . . . Vivid and thrilling. . . . I feel lucky to have gotten to read it.”
“The first novel from physician Verghese displays the virtues so evident in his bestselling and much-lauded memoirs. He has a knack for well-structured scenes, a passion for medicine and a gift for communicating that passion.”
“Fantastic. . . . Written with a lyrical flair, told through a compassionate first-person point of view, and rich with medical insight and information, [Cutting for Stone] makes for a memorable read.”
“Vastly entertaining and enlightening.”