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Critical Praise

"Sparkling . . . Epic . . . . Verghese has made a seamless transition from best-selling memoirist to novelist. His plotting is subtle–clues planted in chapter 1 blossom with meaning in chapter 53–and the Stone circle of characters is unforgettable. Cutting for Stone is as wise and worldly as it is gritty and unpretentious."

—Mike Shea, Texas Monthly

"Verghese is a novelist revealing extraordinary skill. With Cutting for Stone, [he] proves his gift [and] shares with us a story that cuts into our hearts and burns into our minds. . . . This epic of family and love is told largely from the operating theater as surgeon and soul become one. Each story of lives saved and lost is lovingly and graphically told. Were this to be yet another television-esque medical drama, or if it played out like a simple metaphoric Jacob and Esau tale, it would not be such a remarkable work. It is set apart from pedestrian stories by its international and universal story of love found in brotherhood, medicine, patriotism and family and of a faith that transcends any named religion. It is epic in every sense of the word. . . . Deeply affecting, cuts deep and heals broadly for all who willingly place themselves in its grasp."

—Adera Causey, Chattanooga Free Press

"Lauded for his sensitive memoir My Own Country, Verghese [now] turns his formidable talents to fiction, mining his own life and experiences in a magnificent, sweeping novel that moves from India to Ethiopia to an inner-city hospital in New York City over decades and generations. During an arduous sea voyage, Sister Mary Joseph Praise, a devout young nun, saves the life of an English doctor bound for Ethiopia, Thomas Stone . . . Seven years later, Sister Praise dies birthing twin boys: Shiva and Marion, the latter narrating his own and his brother’s dramatic, biblical story set against the backdrop of political turmoil in Ethiopia, the hospital compound in which they grow up, and the love story of their adopted parents, both doctors. The boys become doctors as well, and Verghese’s weaving of the practice of medicine into the narrative is fascinating even as the story bobs and weaves with the power of the best 19th-century novels."

Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review)

"This epic first novel by well-known doctor/author Verghese follows a man on a mythic quest to find his father. It begins with the dramatic birth of twins, their father serving as surgeon and their mother dying on the table. Their horrorstruck father vanishes, and the now separated boys are raised by two Indian doctors living on the grounds of a mission hospital in early 1950s Ethiopia. The boys both gravitate toward medical practice . . . After Marion, [one of the twins,] is forced to flee the country for political reasons, he begins his medical residency at a poor hospital in New York City, and the past catches up with him. The medical background is fascinating as the author delves into fairly technical areas of human anatomy and surgical procedure. This novel succeeds on many levels and is recommended for all collections."

—Jim Coan, Library Journal