CUTTING FOR STONE EBOOK
This content was uploaded by our users and we assume good faith they have the permission to share this book. If you own the copyright to this book and it is. A sweeping, emotionally riveting novel with over one million copies sold—an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home. Marion and Shiva Stone, born in a mission hospital in Ethiopia in the s, are twin sons of an illicit union Cutting For Stone. by Abraham Verghese. ebook.
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Read "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first purchase. A sweeping, emotionally riveting . Editorial Reviews. cittadelmonte.info Review. Amazon Exclusive: John Irving Reviews Cutting for Kindle Store · Kindle eBooks · Literature & Fiction. Cutting for stone [electronic resource (EPUB eBook)]: a novel / Abraham Verghese. An enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile.
A sweeping, emotionally riveting novel with over one million copies sold—an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home. Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Lauded for his sensitive memoir My Own Country about his time as a doctor in eastern Tennessee at the onset of the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, Verghese 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. Sister Mary Joseph Praise, a devout young nun, leaves the south Indian state of Kerala in for a missionary post in Yemen. During the arduous sea voyage, she saves the life of an English doctor bound for Ethiopia, Thomas Stone, who becomes a key player in her destiny when they meet up again at Missing Hospital in Addis Ababa. Seven years later, Sister Praise dies birthing twin boys: Shiva and Marion, the latter narrating his own and his brother s long, dramatic, biblical story set against the backdrop of political turmoil in Ethiopia, the life of the hospital compound in which they grow up and the love story of their adopted parents, both doctors at Missing.
Sister Mary Joseph Praise, a devout young nun, leaves the south Indian state of Kerala in for a missionary post in Yemen.
During the arduous sea voyage, she saves the life of an English doctor bound for Ethiopia, Thomas Stone, who becomes a key player in her destiny when they meet up again at Missing Hospital in Addis Ababa.
Seven years later, Sister Praise dies birthing twin boys: Shiva and Marion, the latter narrating his own and his brother s long, dramatic, biblical story set against the backdrop of political turmoil in Ethiopia, the life of the hospital compound in which they grow up and the love story of their adopted parents, both doctors at Missing. 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 and coincidences of the best 19th-century novel.
There are so many layers and themes to plumb in this intensely poignant and demanding book. Poignant for it's journey with love and loss and demanding for it's medical language and historical themes.
Beyond that there is a spiritual journey of a mystical nature that will not disappoint. Cutting for Stone is both original in story and wise in discourse. A book to read more than once for pleasure and new discovery. Put on the top of your list if you ever care for patients in any facility or work with immigrant doctors.
I chose a place well off the main academic trail because I thought that my nights and weekends would be mine, no grants to write. That turned out to be true and my first two books were written there. Was there a single idea behind or genesis for Cutting for Stone? My ambition as a writer was to tell a great story, an old-fashioned, truth-telling story. But beyond that, my single goal was to portray an aspect of medicine that gets buried in the way television depicts the practice: I wanted the reader to see how entering medicine was a passionate quest, a romantic pursuit, a spiritual calling, a privileged yet hazardous undertaking.
There is a line in the Hippocratic Oath that says: I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest. It stems from the days when bladder stones were epidemic, a cause of great suffering, probably from bad water and who knows what else.
Cutting for Stone (Kobo eBook)
Adults and children suffered so much with these—and died prematurely of infection and kidney failure. There were itinerant stone cutters— lithologists—who could cut either into the bladder or the perineum and get the stone out, but because they cleaned the knife by wiping it on their blood-stiffened surgical aprons, patients usually died of infection the next day.
But I love the Hippocratic Oath or oaths, because its origins and authorship are far from clear , and always try to attend medical school commencement.
When the new graduates stand and take the oath, all the physicians in the room are invited to rise and retake the oath. You see many physician parents and physician siblings standing as their son or daughter or brother or sister takes the oath.
It chokes me up every time. Each of the characters in this novel is drawn to medicine in different ways and for different personal reasons. What drew you to medicine? I was the middle of three sons of Indian parents who taught college physics. My brothers had a precocious ability with numbers, while I had no head for math—or much else in the curriculum. For middle-class Indian parents only three professions exist: My older brother announced he was going to be an engineer, which delighted my parents.
I felt obliged to proclaim that I intended to be a doctor.
Availability: Cutting for stone [electronic resource (EPUB eBook)] : a novel / Abraham Verghese.
I figured that my propensity to fall and bleed, my unseemly interest in witnessing chickens and sheep being slaughtered for the kitchen, and my fascination with watching animals give birth could now be viewed as a form of scholarship. This was my false call to medicine. My true call to medicine came in the form of a book. I was twelve, I think. Money is tight, and he lives on the brink of starvation, and finally finds he does not have the talent.
He is crushed and disappointed but also relieved to have discovered what is not to be his calling. He returns to London and enters medical school. When after years of slogging away he enters the outpatient clinic for the first time, he realizes he has made the right choice.
The particular lines that stayed with me, that have haunted me, were: I took it to mean that if one had no God-given talent to be an artist or mathematician , one could aspire to be a doctor, perhaps even a good one.
The beauty of medicine is that it is proletarian, and its prime prerequisite is that you have an interest in humanity in the rough.
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Many of us also come to medicine because we are wounded in some way. Thomas Stone is a great example, but so is Marion Stone. How has being a doctor influenced you as a writer and vice versa? Do you think practicing one has helped you practice the other? That said, I confess that my love of medicine feeds this book and much of my other writing.
There are lots of parallels between writing and medicine. As a consultant, when I see a patient whom others have seen before me, if I can shed light on the problem it is often because the particular patient story resonates with my repertoire of stories and so I know where it is heading.
Internal medicine, which is also my field, is so much about details, about tying together disparate clues to come up with a unifying diagnosis and about close observation. It is very revealing that modern medicine with so many new diseases—AIDS, SARS, Lyme—has not to my knowledge in the last fifty years come up with a metaphor as colorful as the mulberry molar or the cracked-pot skull or the saber-shinned tibia. It speaks of a disturbing atrophy of the imagination, an obsession with the science at the expense of the art.
So, to answer your question, being in medicine is helpful, particularly for the novel I chose to write.
But it provides no short cuts. Writing is still hard, and the real art is in the revision, the real talent is in having the stamina, in being able to delay gratification over the many years it takes to get it right. Though you confront serious issues in the novel, there is much humor in it, too.
Was it a conscious choice to bring humor in, and if so, why? Levity finds its way into many of the medical scenes Ghosh performing a vasectomy, for example ; was there an element of wanting to make medicine less intimidating?
The humor surprised me.
That said, there are many occasions for side-splitting laughter in medicine, but one has to be careful that the patient never construes this as our being light-hearted about his or her suffering. I so much want to tell my students these stories, but common sense stops me.
I once, in print, called the coronary artery bypass operation the great blow-job of American medicine: Many were not amused, let me tell you.
Perhaps you can tell us the correct answer, and also tell us how the answer informs the book. No one really tests that they can feel an enlarged spleen, or diagnose and put together physical signs at the bedside.
The patient is unseen and unheard. The patient is presented to me by the intern and resident team in a conference room far away from where the patient lies.
Cutting for Stone
When we do go to the bedside to make rounds, often physicians are no longer at ease. It is as if the patient in the bed is merely an icon for the real patient, who exists in the computer. But a skilled exam can do two things: Secondly, the skilled exam done with courtesy and done well conveys something important about caring and about professionalism to the patient; indeed it is a key component to building a good physician-patient relationship.
The fact that patients with chronic illness increasingly seek the attention of naturopaths, refelexologists, acupuncturists, and others has a lot to do with the fact that these individuals will spend time and put hands on the patient, where the physician does that infrequently or in a cursory fashion.
You bring Ethiopia to life so vividly—its contradictions of beauty and poverty. Addis Ababa and Missing Hospital is so much a part of each character though some come to it from other places or leave it for other places.
Why did you decide to set much of this novel there? And how do you think the atmosphere of the place affected your life? Even in this era of the visual, I think a novel can bring the feel of a place out better than almost any vehicle. The few images one sees of Ethiopia are uniformly negative, about war and poverty.
I wanted to depict my love for that land and its people, for their incredible beauty and grace and their wonderful character. I wanted also to convey the loss many felt when the old order gave way to the new. Ethiopia had the blight of being ruled by a man named Mengistu for too many years, a man propped up by Russia and Cuba.
My medical school education was actually interrupted when Mengistu came to power and the emperor went to jail. As an expatriate, I had to leave.
It was my moment of loss. Many of my medical schoolmates became guerilla fighters, trying to unseat the government. Some died in the struggle. One of them fought for over twenty years, and his forces finally toppled the dictator.
Meles Zenaweis, now Prime Minister of Ethiopia, was a year behind me in medical school. I went through hard times because of the disruption, but I eventually finished my medical education in India. But what I went through was nothing compared to what others went through—they were willing to die for their cause. Thomas Stone—which informs almost everything that happens to each character in the book, and yet one of these characters is dead and one has not been seen by anyone for decades.
How did you conceive of their relationship, and how do they exert such force on the novel even though neither is present for the majority of it?
Love comes down to a set of wills trying to match and sometimes mismatching in spectacular fashion; I think all love is unrequited unless we have a clone of ourselves and even then the love is unrequited.
Perhaps what love seeks is not reciprocity but redemption, the sense that who you are is worthy and was always worthy of love.
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