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Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

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Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Published by Vintage in 2010

Set mainly in Ethiopia, the story opens in 1954 with the dramatic birth of twins slightly joined at the skull. Their surgeon father delivers them but their mother, a nun, dies during the birth. The panic-stricken father disappears, and the now separated boys, Marion and Shiva, are brought up by two Indian doctors living on the grounds of a hospital. Both boys become doctors and the medical detail is fascinating, with descriptive pieces on surgical procedures and human anatomy. As the novel follows Marion’s quest to find his father, the world of medicine is interspersed with the developing political situation in Ethiopia. When Marion is forced to leave the country for political reasons the story moves to a hospital in New York where the past catches up with him.

‘Skilful storytelling and fluid prose’ The Irish Times

‘Verghese's achievement is to make the reader feel there really is something at stake - birth, love, death, war, loyalty’ The Guardian

`There is a gravity and beauty in his writing that sets it apart from much contemporary fiction' Daily Telegraph

Born and brought up of Indian parents in Ethiopia, Abraham Verghese is a medical doctor.