The Center for Fiction and Bellevue Literary Review Present Abraham Verghese on The Covenant of Water
Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT May 23, 2023
The Center for Fiction
This event is sold out.
The Center for Fiction is thrilled to invite you to join Abraham Verghese, author of the major word-of-mouth hit, Cutting for Stone, for the launch of his long-awaited new book. The Covenant of Water is a masterful multigenerational novel set in Kerala, India with all the rich, incisive prose fans of his work will love. In 1900, a twelve-year-old girl grieving the death of her father in a family where one person dies of drowning in every generation is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. The young girl—and future matriarch, known as Big Ammachi—will witness unthinkable changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, with her Christian faith and love the only constants. Verghese will read aloud sections of his literary, spellbinding work and discuss the influence of his medical profession, the craft of writing, and themes of time and generational change in an extended Q&A with the audience, moderated by Bellevue Literary Review editor, Danielle Ofri.
The first 100 in-person attendees will receive a free copy of Bellevue Literary Review! A free digital copy will by sent to livestream attendees.
Presented in partnership with Bellevue Literary Review.
Abraham Verghese is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the author the NBCC Award finalist My Own Country and the New York Times Notable Book The Tennis Partner. His most recent book, Cutting for Stone, spent 107 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and sold more than 1.5 million copies in the U.S. alone. It was translated into more than twenty languages and is being adapted for film by Anonymous Content. Verghese was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2016, has received five honorary degrees, and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He lives and practices medicine in Stanford, California where he is the Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. A decade in the making, The Covenant of Water is his first book since Cutting for Stone.
Photo Credit: Jason Henry
The Covenant of Water
By Abraham Verghese
Published by Grove Atlantic
Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India’s Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning—and in Kerala, water is everywhere. At the turn of the century, a twelve-year-old girl from Kerala’s long-existing Christian community, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. From this unforgettable new beginning, the young girl—and future matriarch, known as Big Ammachi—will witness unthinkable changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, her faith and love the only constants.
A shimmering evocation of a bygone India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and a humbling testament to the difficulties undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today. It is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years.
About Bellevue Literary Review
Bellevue Literary Review is an award-winning independent literary journal that mines the intersection of healthcare and the arts. Abraham Verghese has published fiction in BLR and has been a member of BLR’s advisory board since its inception in 2001.
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