College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

Cutting-for-StoneCutting for Stone

by Abraham Verghese, Vintage 2010

Reviewed by Anne Wilson

A coming-of-age story about a young man who grows up in Ethiopia and his unusual family is not a story that would normally capture my attention. The blurb on the back of the book did not inspire me either, but it was a gift from my mother so I opened the front cover and began to read. I was delighted by the rich imagery, distressed by the realistic portrayal of human suffering, and enchanted by the complicated characters of the story, both male and female. The author is a physician deeply influenced by the humanities, and he views doctors as part of their patient's stories. While Cutting for Stone does have physicians in key roles throughout the book, the focus is not medicine but the humanity of the characters. I found myself having to look up some key characters from Ethiopian history and remind myself of other world events that were at the time represented in the book, but the storyline does not require this except for those who are more historically curious. I found myself hungry for Ethiopian food multiple times while reading, so be sure to line up your supply of injera and wat before you begin!

- Anne Wilson is professor of chemistry at Butler University.