My Own Country: Book summary and reviews of My Own Country by Abraham Verghese

My Own Country

A Doctor's Story

by Abraham Verghese

My Own Country
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  • Published in USA  Apr 1995
    448 pages
    Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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Book Summary

Nestled in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee, the town of Johnson City saw its first AIDS patient in August 1985. Working in Johnson City was Abraham Verghese, a young Indian doctor specializing in infectious diseases who became, by necessity, the local AIDS expert. Out of his experience comes a startling, ultimately uplifting portrait of the American heartland.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Writing with an outsider's empathy and insight, casting his chronicle in graceful prose, he offers a memorable tale that both captures and transcends time and place." - Publishers Weekly.

"This novelistic account, occasionally overly detailed, provides a heartfelt perspective on the American response to the spread of AIDS." - Library Journal.

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Doraflora

A inspiring but extremely poorly written autobiography
My book club opted to read this true account of a doctor coping with AIDS victims in the early years of its detection. I found the doctor's style stultifying, monotonous and difficult to cope with. I am a prolific reader but this book stymied me. The style was onerous, burdensome, boring, filled with tedious descriptions and lacking much action or conversation among the participants.
Dr. Veerghese has a way with words, mostly vivid descriptions of his surroundings, but making passage through the text, an ordeal.
I struggled valiantly to endure, put the book down and then tried again several times to struggle through it, finally giving up. In total frustration.
The subject matter and his experiences could have been riveting. Instead it was impossible to complete. Much more vigorous editing, much less description of inoccuous surroundings,etc. and much more drama is required, in my humble opinion.

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Author Information

Abraham Verghese Author Biography

Photo: Joanne Chan

Born in 1955 as the second of three sons of Indian parents recruited by Emperor Haile Selassie to teach in Ethiopia, Abraham Verghese grew up near Addis Ababa and began his medical training there. When the emperor was deposed, Verghese briefly joined his parents who had moved to the United States because of the war. He worked in a hospital before returning to complete his medical education at Madras Medical College.

After graduation, he left India for a residency in the United States, and like many other foreign medical graduates, he found only the less popular hospitals and communities open to him, an experience he described in one of his early New Yorker articles, The Cowpath to America.

From Johnson City, Tennessee, where he was a internal medicine resident from 1980 to 1983, he moved...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Abraham Verghese's Website

Name Pronunciation
Abraham Verghese: vur geez with a hard 'g'

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