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Verghese on 'The Covenant of Water' and the partnership between writer and reader

Abraham Verghese is the author of "The Covenant of Water"
Barbi Reed
Abraham Verghese is the author of "The Covenant of Water"

I’ve been waiting to talk with Abraham Verghese for ten years. His 2009 novel, Cutting for Stone, is one of my favorite books of all time and I leapt at the chance to speak with him about his newest book, The Covenant of Water.

The epic novel incorporates deep family secrets, colonialism and caste structures, and expertly weaves his own medical background into the narrative.

Abraham Verghese spoke with me about crafting this impressive novel, the partnership between writer and reader, and more. I’m Beth Golay. From KMUW Studios, part of the NPR Podcast Network, this is Marginalia.


The Covenant of Water was published by Grove Press.

Marginalia was produced at KMUW Wichita and is part of the NPR Podcast Network.

  • Mark Statzer and Torin Andersen - engineers
  • Lu Anne Stephens & Haley Crowson - editors
  • Haley Crowson - producer
  • Karlee Cooper - marketing coordinator
  • Beth Golay - host

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Beth Golay is KMUW's Director of Marketing and Digital Content. She is the host of the KMUW podcast Marginalia and co-host with Suzanne Perez of the Books & Whatnot podcast. You can find her on Wichita Transit in conversation with other riders for En Route, a monthly segment on KMUW's weekly news program The Range.