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abstract:Whistler Reads members have been asking for a fun piece of popular fiction and our next book will not disappoint. Abraham Varghese's Cutting for Stone is now out in paperback. WR members get a 10% discount off this title when they purchase at Armchair Books. "Not since Khaled Hosseini debuted with The Kite Runner has there been a novel that could and should capture the hearts of people around the world," writes Mike Sullivan. In fact the accolades from a long list of celebrated authors and reviewers tells us we are all in for a treat. Join us April 14th at Nita Lake Lodge in the library, 7-9pm. Nita has a wonderful wine list. We will pick a few to sample by the glass - cash bar.

Join us on Thursday April 14th 7:00-9:00 at the Nita Lake Lodge (library) in Whistler. Advance tickets $15 and $20 at the door.

Cutting for Stone takes readers from India to Ethiopia to America. The cover blurb had this to say:


March 09, 2011

"A sweeping, emotionally riveting first novel ó 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 at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their motherís death in childbirth and their fatherís disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics ó their passion for the same woman ó that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him ó nearly destroying him ó Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.

An unforgettable journey into one manís remarkable life, and an epic story about the power, intimacy, and curious beauty of the work of healing others.

Abraham Varghese author of CUTTING FOR STONE is Professor for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and Senior Associate Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. His novel's title refers to bladder stones and a particular phrase in the Hippocratic Oath taken by all physicians: "I will not cut for stone..." proclaimed for the associated mortality with this surgery and the intent of establishing standards of ethical practice.

The Physician Writer is a genre dating back to biblical times beginning with the apostle, Saint Luke. Here is a list of other notables:

  • John Keats (1795-1821) one of the principal poets of the English Romantic movement
  • Anton Chekhov (18601904) celebrated Russian short-story writer and playwright
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (18591930) British author of Sherlock Holmes fame
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (18091894) one of the best regarded American poets of the 19th century; helped found the literary magazine The Atlantic Monthly
  • David Livingstone (18131873) Scottish medical missionary, explorer of Africa, travel writer
  • W. Somerset Maugham (18741965) celebrated British novelist and short story writer; wrote Of Human Bondage
  • John McCrae (18721918) Canadian poet, artist and soldier during World War I and a surgeon during the battle of Ypres; best known for writing the famous war memorial poem In Flanders Fields
  • Michael Crichton (19422008) American author of Jurassic Park
  • A.J. Cronin (18961981), Scottish novelist and essayist; creator of Dr. Finlay. Other works include The Stars Look Down, The Citadel, and The Keys of the Kingdom. The Citadel (1937) brought much-needed attention to inequities in the British medical system and is credited with having prompted the creation of Britain's National Health Service.
  • Khaled Hosseini (born 1965) Afghanistan-born American novelist; author of the bestsellers The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • Why do we find their works fascinating? Faith McLelland writes in the medical journal, The Lancet:

    "Through their privileged and intimate contact with those moments of greatest human drama (birth, illness, injury, suffering, disease, death) physicians are in a unique position to observe, record and create the stories that make us human. 'The clinical gaze [has] much in common with the artist's eye.' "

    I believe she meant - stories that reveal our humanity.

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