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About the book
  • Published: 1 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099443636
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560
  • RRP: $19.99

Cutting For Stone

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An enthralling, exotic saga spanning five decades and three continents, rife with forbidden love and desire; betrayals, murder, medicine and family secrets.

Marion and Shiva Stone, born in a mission hospital in Ethiopia in the 1950s, are twin sons of an illicit union between an Indian nun and British doctor. Bound by birth but with widely different temperaments they grow up together, in a country on the brink of revolution, until a betrayal splits them apart. But fate has not finished with them – they will be brought together once more, in the sterile surroundings of a hospital theatre.

From the 1940s to the present, from a convent in India to a cargo ship bound for the Yemen, from a tiny operating theatre in Ethiopia to a hospital in the Bronx, this is both a richly visceral epic and a riveting family story.

  • Pub date: 1 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099443636
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Abraham Verghese

Born and brought up of Indian parents in Ethiopia, Abraham Verghese qualified as a doctor in Madras and is currently professor of medicine at Stanford University, California. He is the author of My Own Country, an NBCC finalist made into a film directed by Mira Nair, The Tennis Partner, a New York Times Notable Book and Cutting for Stone. His essays and stories have appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Esquire, Granta, New York Times Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Palo Alto, California.

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Praise for Cutting For Stone

“This huge, rich, ambitious tapestry of a novel makes insomnia a pleasure...tremendous”

The Times

“Verghese's achievement is to make the reader feel there really is something at stake - birth, love, death, war, loyalty”


“A sweeping saga of family life, love, betrayal and redemption...the novel is driven by the author's natural storytelling ability, as well as the charm and believability of his characters”

Clare Longrigg, Psychologies

“Verghese's novel leads us in a tremendous, compassionate, technically exuberant sprawl through post-colonial Ethiopia via Kenya to the US...This is a big book and, along with Naipaul and Waugh and Dickens, there is also a strong flavour of William Boyd, both in the sense of place and in the way heredity and brotherhood get their grippers into a man and shape the narrative of his life...In medicine, there are times when one can do nothing. The novelist can always do something. But in both cases, and seldom better exemplified than in Verghese's lovely book, there is a heart to be uncovered”

Michael Bywater, Independent

“If comparisons with another writer have to be made, with its blend of intensely realised detail, adventure, myth, wit and poetry, the writer who comes to mind is Shakespeare”

Richard Eyre, Sunday Telegraph

“Verghese, a doctor, has an affinity for unstinting detail and unscientific intuition...a poetic perception of the outside world”

New Yorker

“readable... compelling”

Jane Jakeman, Times Literary Supplement

“convincingly evokes a place unfamiliar to most readers... Cutting for Stone honours the extraordinary, complex work of surgeons and physicians, but it allows us to see them as ordinary men and women”

David Hoespool, Sunday Times

“A human story that is deeply moving, utterly gripping, and, indeed, unforgettable. Cutting for Stone is as noble and dramatic as that ancient practice-medicine-that lies at the heart of this magnificent novel”

John Burnham Schwartz, author of The Commoner and Reservation Road

“Richly entertaining novel”

David Horspool, The Sunday Times

“A gory medical saga authenticated by numerous doctors' proverbs and mnemonics”

Alfred Fickling, The Guardian

“Skilful storytelling and fluid prose”

Irish Times

“There is a gravity and beauty in his writing that sets it apart from much contemporary fiction”

Daily Telegraph

“A dense and satisfying family saga...is a rich rewarding read.”

Landers Bookshop, Independent on Sunday

“An incredibly detailed history of two surgeon brothers who grow up in Ethiopia and live through the revolution...it opens your eyes to another world.”

Nathaniel Parker, Daily Express

“Tremendous, compassionate, exuberant”


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