Thursday, February 10, 2011

Abraham Verghese / Book Passage event on TV

If you missed last week's One Book / One Marin kick-off event at Book Passage, then you missed a truly memorable event. (However, you needn't despair - keep reading!)

On February 3rd, nearly 400 individuals gathered at Book Passage in Corte Madera to hear celebrated Bay Area author Abraham Verghese read from and discuss Cutting for Stone (Vintage, $15.95), his equally celebrated novel about twin brothers born of a secret union. At its heart is Verghese’s reverence for the practice of medicine (the author is a medical doctor) , as well as his compassionate understanding of the human condition.

The term “sweeping epic” perfectly describes this amazing novel. The narrative covers five decades, four continents, civil war, politics, betrayal, redemption and a touching love story. The unbreakable bond of twin brothers as they are divided and face worlds of conflict allows the reader a window to the myriad meanings of family.

Cutting for Stone is this year's One Book / One Marin selection. And for the next couple of months, readers throughout the county will be reading Verghese's vivid and wildly imaginative masterpiece. One Book / One Marin 2011 culminates with a reading and discussion with the author at Dominican University of California on Wednesday, April 27 at 7:00 pm.

If you missed the launch event, you can watch it on television. MarinTV (channel 30) will air a recording of the event on Saturday, February 12th at 7:00 pm and on Sunday, February 13th at 7:00 pm. More about MarinTV and the Community Media Center of Marin (and other recorded Book Passage events) can be found at

Copies of
Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone can be purchased at our store, or online by following this link.

About the author: Abraham Verghese is Professor and Senior Associate Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He was the founding director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, where he is now an adjunct professor. He is the author of My Own Country, a 1994 NBCC Finalist and a Time Best Book of the Year, and The Tennis Partner, a New York Times Notable Book. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has published essays and short stories that have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Granta, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.

Praise for Cutting for Stone:

“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

“Stupendous. . . . An epic romance, surgery meets history. Beautiful and deeply affecting.” — Simon Schama, Financial Times

“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

“A marvel of a first novel. Verghese’s generosity of spirit is beautifully embodied in this gripping family saga that brings mid-century Ethiopia to vivid life. The practice of medicine is like a spiritual calling in this book, and the unforgettable people at its center bring passion and nobility—not to mention humor and humility—to the ancient art, while living an unforgettable story of love and betrayal and forgiveness. It’s wonderful.” — Ann Packer

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