Physician-author Abraham Verghese to speakAbraham Verghese, a physician who has written poignant books that embrace personal issues and questions of identity as well as medical subjects, will offer a lecture and Common Hour presentation in mid-September. On Monday, September 13, he will give a talk entitled "The Search for Meaning in a Medical Life" at 7:30 p.m. in Higley Auditorium. His Common Hour talk, to be held on Tuesday, September 14, in Peirce Hall Lounge, is called "Doctors and Writing: What the Pen Teaches the Stethoscope."
Verghese won critical acclaim for his first book, My Own Country, a memoir about treating AIDS patients in rural Tennessee. Using the lens of his own experience as an immigrant searching for a sense of place, Verghese examined the lives of gay men who left their small towns for very different lives in the city but who were now returning home to die-and whose families had to come to terms with their own feelings about these once-alienated loved ones. Verghese's second book, The Tennis Partner: A Story of Friendship and Loss, deals with the death of his best friend and tennis partner, a young intern struggling with drug addiction. The book was published in 1998 and became a national best seller.
Born in Ethiopia to parents who were immigrants from India, Verghese received his medical training largely in India and the United States, becoming a specialist in infectious diseases. He also earned an M.F.A. degree at the famed Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. He has published articles and stories in magazines including Granta, The New Yorker, and The North American Review.
Verghese is currently the director of the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics in the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. His appearance at Kenyon is sponsored by the Faculty Lectureships Committee.