Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Abraham Verghese Reading at the Harvard Book Store


So last night I got to attend a reading at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, something I rarely do and should do more often.

I went to see Abraham Verghese, author of the amazing and just-published Cutting For Stone. I've already told you how much I loved this book- I laughed, I cried, I couldn't put it down for all 500+ pages.

The reading was very well-attended, between the usual Cambridge crowd as well as his own friends and family who live in the area. I was very lucky to get a seat- I think it was the last available one!

He read from two sections of the book- one funny and one serious, and took questions. He talked about a lot of things- his career as a doctor, the rewards of practicing medicine, how his writing and medical work intersect, and his previous memoirs as well. Since Cutting for Stone only just came out, the memoirs are what most of his fans have read. Verghese talked about the process of writing Cutting for Stone, the research he did into 1950s medical practices, including purchasing an entire set of 1950s textbooks, and how he felt like he had poured everything he had into the novel- and believe me, it shows. If you haven't read it, you need to- it's a showstopper.

He read beautifully, and seemed like such a sweet man as well. During the signing, he took a few minutes to talk to each person in line, asking questions that showed interest in each person- even little old me. I didn't mention my blog but he had some nice things to say about librarians, which I appreciate.

And I did something I have never done- I bought it in hardcover, despite the fact that I already have a galley. I kind of had to- I couldn't find my galley for the reading and I wanted to get his autograph. Plus today is my birthday, so it was a little early present to myself. When I was in college my friend Jean and I went to readings together all the time; I have this whole collection of signed books that we got at readings. Anyway it was a great time.

Here's the trailer for the book:



So read the book, but do me a favor and ignore the terrible write-up it got in the New York Times!

12 comments:

thebookladysblog.com said...

Oh, let me count the ways in which I am jealous! He's going to be 90 minutes away from me in D.C. next Monday and then 3 hours away in Raleigh on Tuesday, but I can't make it to either one...you lucky lady!

bermudaonion said...

What a wonderful way to spend the evening.

Serena said...

sounds like you had a great time with a lovely author. I will have to check out this book. Thanks for the heads up!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I was irritated with the NYT review, especially the last line ... something comparing surgery to editing ...

This was on my "would like to do, if it works out" calendar, but you know what the traffic can be like at that hour, my 20-minute drive often turns into 90! We'll have to make a plan to meet at one of these sometime.

Happy birthday, to you!

Dawn
She is Too Fond of Books

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Jealous also. No one comes to Tucson unless it is for rehab! And agree with the comment re the NYT Review - the only one I've seen that hasn't been gushing. (I thought the last line was clever, but just not applicable to Verghese!)

Marie said...

Dawn- I'd love to! I was keeping an eye out for you last night!:-)

Zibilee said...

Very Cool! I am glad you were able to go and experience this, and it sounds like you had a great time!

Marie said...

Candy, that's awful! I'm so sorry. that really stinks.

caite said...

Let's see...whose review should I believe, the NY Times or The Boston Bibliophile? hmmm...think I will go with the BB and pull this one out of the TBR pile asap.

mattviews said...

I read the ARC and couldn't put down the book. It was one of my favorite picks last year. I went to his reading in his own Palo Alto and he was just fascinating. The story of the two brothers separated by the girl whom they both fell in love with, and the foster parents, breaks my heart.

Marie said...

Caite- smart woman! :-)

Diane said...

I just saw this book at the library. It looks great. I noticed EVERYONE that reviewed it on AMAZON gave it a perfect 5 stars. Thanks for posting!