Skip to Content

The Center for Fiction and Bellevue Literary Review Present Abraham Verghese on The Covenant of Water

May 23, 2023

The Center for Fiction was thrilled to welcome 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 read aloud sections of his literary, spellbinding work and discussed 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, which was moderated by Bellevue Literary Review editor, Danielle Ofri.

This event was presented in partnership with Bellevue Literary Review.

Photos by Macy Castañeda Lee


  • Verghese, Abraham author photo credit Jason Henry - Vrinda Madan

    Abraham Verghese

    Abraham Verghese

    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