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My Own Country. by Abraham. VERGHESE
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My Own Country. (edition 1994)

by Abraham. VERGHESE

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6791614,070 (4.22)105
Member:maureen61
Title:My Own Country.
Authors:Abraham. VERGHESE
Info:Simon and Schuster, (1994), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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My Own Country by Abraham Verghese

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I just finished My Own Country by Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting For Stone. Although this book was written before Cutting for Stone, chronologically, it takes place after he finishes medical school and his residencies. It details his journey into the world of AIDS as an Infectious Disease Specialist just as the AIDS epidemic was beginning. I can only say that we should all be lucky enough to have a physician like Dr. Verghese. The story was inspiring and intiquing. Very definitely a good read! ( )
  LoisB | Sep 20, 2013 |
I don't think I would have picked up this book about the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s if it hadn't been set in the area of the country where I grew up. I am very glad I did. Abraham Verghese writes with rare honesty and compassion. I don't think I've read anything like this that treats both gay people and Christians with sympathy. The book is also unusual in its positive treatment of rural Appalachia, whose people are most often caricatured and belittled.

Not only is the story of the AIDS patients framed in an intriguingly misunderstood location, but the author's own story is one of being misunderstood and not belonging as an ethnic Indian raised in Africa who now works in this part of America that he seems to want to embrace more sincerely than any American that I've ever met. His story perfectly complements the larger story he is telling:
...the story of how a generation of young men, raised to self-hatred, had risen above the definitions that their society and upbringings had used to define them. It was the story of the hard and sometimes lonely journeys they took far from home into a world more complicated than they imagined and far more dangerous than anyone could have known. There was something courageous about this voyage, the breakaway, the attempt to create places where they could live with pride.

No matter how long I practice medicine, no matter what happens with this retrovirus, I will not be able to forget these young men, the little towns they came from, and the cruel, cruel irony of what awaited them in the big city. ( )
  theonetruesteph | Mar 30, 2013 |
Finally a doctor who is human and generous of spirit. Great book. ( )
  wbwilburn5 | Jun 9, 2012 |
Eh? It was mostly good. There was too much of it. It had that first-time author navel gazing. The narrative was all over the place, but for no good reason. I enjoyed the way he wrote about the Johnson City area. I liked his humor. But it was indulgent and needed paring down. ( )
  mazeway | Feb 8, 2012 |
This was a very interesting and moving story. It is the first book that I have read about AIDS. I loved this doctor's open-minded curiosity about and empathy with his patients. Sometimes the graphic medical details were too much for me, but overall I felt very moved by his life story, by the slow way in which his vocation pulls him in deeper and deeper into the experience of pain and death and healing. ( )
  sumariotter | Nov 2, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679752927, Paperback)

Nestled in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee, the town of Johnson City had always seemed exempt from the anxieties of modern American life. But when the local hospital treated its first AIDS patient, a crisis that had once seemed an “urban problem” had arrived in the town to stay.
   
Working in Johnson City was Abraham Verghese, a young Indian doctor specializing in infectious diseases. Dr. Verghese became by necessity the local AIDS expert, soon besieged by a shocking number of male and female patients whose stories came to occupy his mind, and even take over his life. Verghese brought a singular perspective to Johnson City: as a doctor unique in his abilities; as an outsider who could talk to people suspicious of local practitioners; above all, as a writer of grace and compassion who saw that what was happening in this conservative community was both a medical and a spiritual emergency.
   
Out of his experience comes a startling but ultimately uplifting portrait of the American heartland as it confronts—and surmounts—its deepest prejudices and fears.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A young doctor of eastern Tennessee describes the town's first introduction to the AIDS virus, which preceded a disturbing epidemic and introduced the doctor to many unique people.

(summary from another edition)

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