Magazine article New Internationalist

Cutting for Stone

Magazine article New Internationalist

Cutting for Stone

Article excerpt

Cutting for Stone

by Abraham Verghese Chatto & Windus, ISBN 9780701173838)

Abraham Verghese is a doctor of Indian descent, brought up in Ethiopia and currently Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, California. He is the author of two wellregarded non-fiction books on AIDS and Cutting for Stone is his début novel.

Epic in both scale and ambition, it spans continents and generations in telling the story of Marlon and Shiva Stone, conjoined twins born of a relationship between an Indian nun, Sister Mary Praise, and Thomas Stone, a British doctor at a Mission hospital in Addis Ababa.

The events surrounding the twins' birth could hardly be more traumatic: their mother dies in childbirth and their father disappears. Separated moments after birth, the boys are raised by foster-parents at the Mission hospital and both grow up to be doctors, immersing themselves in the political turmoil that was Halle Selaisse's Ethiopia. …

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