Abraham Verghese’s upcoming novel, The Maramon Convention, to be published by Scribner, is set in India, in the state of Kerala, about which he says: “It’s set in the estates, in the 40s and 50s, that interesting period of transition from British rule. I come here almost every year … I know Kerala fairly well. It’s a culture that hasn’t been explored that much in a literary sense … and lots of room for another novel set there.”
Watch his interview with NDTV’s Sunil Sethi.
Abraham Verghese’s books have been reviewed broadly. His first novel, Cutting for Stone, succeeded beyond his hopes and stayed on the New York Times fiction bestseller list for well over two years, reaching Number 2 at its peak in 2012. It is now one of Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime.
Acclaimed by reviewers and the reading public alike, it also stayed close to the top of other prestigious bestseller lists, such as the Independent Booksellers and USA Today.
His earlier two memoirs, My Own Country and The Tennis Partner were also critically acclaimed and remain in print. His voice has been published in major newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times and the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Atlantic and in a variety of electronic media, such as National Public Radio, to name just a few.
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The story is a riveting saga of twin brothers, Marion and Shiva Stone, born of a tragic union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, and 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.
But it’s love, not politics – their passion for the same woman — that will tear them apart and force Marion to flee his homeland and make his way to America, finding refuge in his work at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him, wreaking havoc and destruction, Marion has to entrust his life to the two men he has trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.
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My Own Country
Nestled in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee, the town of Johnson City had always seemed exempt from the anxieties of modern American life. But when the local hospital treated its first AIDS patient, a crisis that had once seemed an “urban problem” had arrived in the town to stay.
Working in Johnson City was Abraham Verghese, a young Indian doctor specializing in infectious diseases. Dr. Verghese became by necessity the local AIDS expert, soon besieged by a shocking number of male and female patients whose stories came to occupy his mind, and even take over his life. Verghese brought a singular perspective to Johnson City: as a doctor unique in his abilities; as an outsider who could talk to people suspicious of local practitioners; above all, as a writer of grace and compassion who saw that what was happening in this conservative community was both a medical and a spiritual emergency.
Out of his experience comes a startling but ultimately uplifting portrait of the American heartland as it confronts—and surmounts—its deepest prejudices and fears.
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The Tennis Partner
The Tennis Partner has recently been reissued and its story is compelling. When Abraham Verghese, a physician whose marriage is unraveling, relocates to El Paso, Texas, he hopes to make a fresh start as a staff member at the county hospital. There he meets David Smith, a professional tennis player and medical resident recovering from drug addiction, and the two men begin a tennis ritual that allows them to relax with each other and find security in the game they both love.
This friendship between doctor and intern grows increasingly rich and complex, more intimate than two men usually allow. And just when it seems nothing more can go wrong, the dark beast from David’s past emerges once again. As David spirals out of control, almost everything Verghese has come to trust and believe is threatened. Compassionate and moving, The Tennis Partner is an unforgettable, illuminating story of how men live, and how they survive.
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