Seattle Picks: If You Like Abraham Verghese's "Cutting for Stone"
Annotation:Dr. Abuelaish describes his life in Gaza and his work as the only Palestinian doctor in an Israeli hospital. Despite many personal losses, he refuses to give in to hatred, focusing instead on healing, both among his patients and in his land.
Annotation:The stories in this collection, written by the Nigerian author of "Things Fall Apart," examine political and social issues in Africa during the mid-20th century. Topics range from market day interactions to family tensions over a mixed marriage to a harrowing smallpox outbreak.
Annotation:A cure for an aging syndrome in children would not only make him famous (and rich), but would save two of his young patients and Seattle doctor Henry Moss must decide whether to risk his license and use the medicine before it's legally approved or watch his patients die.
Annotation:This epic novel set during the Sudanese civil war follows the efforts of an American pilot to fly food and medical supplies to a war-ravaged region avoided by the U.N. He is joined by missionaries, aid workers and rebels, but their well-intentioned efforts at times have disastrous outcomes.
Annotation:Marie, a Seattle anesthesiologist, is devastated when a patient dies under her care in the operating room. At the same time, Marie's aging father is losing his ability to live independently. This elegantly-crafted novel is both a page-turner and a compassionate exploration of medical and personal responsibility.
Annotation:Chen, a transplant surgeon, relates her own experiences trying to balance the psychological strain of maintaining a professional demeanor in the face of a patient's death, with the more human, empathetic side of end-of-life care.
Annotation:This autobiographical novel takes the form of a subvocalized memoir by Deng, a Sudanese Lost Boy -- one who was separated from his family during a military raid on his village. Surviving unimaginable horrors, Deng immigrated to America where he finds human nature is the same everywhere and his life is still difficult.
Annotation:After her British parents die in Africa, eight-year-old Lily is raised as a Muslim in a Moroccan shrine. As a young woman, she travels to Ethiopia where she becomes a nurse, but is ostracized for being a foreigner.
Annotation:The author's family fled Ethiopia in the mid-1970s, leaving friends and extended family. In this memoir, Haile discusses her return to Ethiopia 25 years later to see the changes and challenges.
Annotation:Nineteen-year-old Nasarian fights a personal battle for freedom from Kenya's constraints on women and longs for an end to the ongoing violence around her.
Annotation:This powerful, heartbreaking tale of sons and fathers, of friendship and betrayal, is set in Kabul, Afghanistan during the 1970s and onward. As a boy, Amir enjoys a relatively idyllic existence with his best friend, Hassan, but class and familial differences split them apart.
Annotation:Dr. Charles Anderson volunteers to render medical aid to refugees in a fictional Islamic country that has suffered an earthquake and struggles with internal strife. But the refugees don't arrive and the medical staff is left in the midst of a firefight.
Annotation:The complexities of ethical behavior and human love are explored through the stories of rejected orphan Homer Wells, and the dedicated obstetrician and orphanage director, Dr. Wilbur Larch, whose questionable medical practices and drug addiction gradually come to light.
Annotation:Hailsham, a secluded boarding school in England, is remembered by a trio of friends who gradually discover the purpose behind their elite school and careful upbringing in this dystopian tale of medical ethics and human tragedy.
Annotation:A long-standing feud between the McGraths and the Alfredsons, the families who founded a famous hospital near Seattle, continues as the medical staff battles to save lives.
Annotation:Nathan Price, self-proclaimed Baptist missionary, drags his naive wife and four daughters to the Belgian Congo in 1959 to evangelize among the natives. His ignorance and the anti-colonial unrest in the region combine to create disaster for his mission, his family and his potential converts.
Annotation:Twelve interrelated stories follow four fledgling doctors through medical school and beyond as they climb the learning curve, develop good bedside manners and learn lessons in ethics.
Annotation:The compelling fictional story of conjoined twins is told in their own voices in a novel richly imagined and poignant. Rose and Ruby are surprisingly different -- they even have secrets from one another -- and their stories, while similar, are unique.
Annotation:Humor, hope and despair are mixed together in this quietly told tale of an Ethiopian emigre, Sepha, who flees Ethiopia after his father is murdered by revolutionary soldiers. Sepha opens a store in a racially mixed neighborhood of Washington, D.C., where he befriends other Aftrican immigrants as well as a white woman and her spirited biracial daughter.
Annotation:During the fall of Haile Selassie's regime, a physician's family is torn apart by its members' varied reactions to violent circumstances. Told from different perspectives, the novel brings to life the violence, betrayal and devastation of Ethiopia's civil war.
Annotation:Anna's parents use her as a donor for her sick sister's sake. It is, in fact, the chief purpose of her life until she decides to sue her parents for the right to her own body in a riveting tale of love and betrayal.
Annotation:Written by a physician, this compulsively readable novel is a fascinating, multi-layered saga of family, medicine and personal growth set in Ethiopia (also India, Yemen and New York City).