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The Tennis Partner

The Tennis Partner

Paperback

By (author) Abraham Verghese

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 22mm | 254g
  • Publication date: 6 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099735016
  • ISBN 13: 9780099735014
  • Sales rank: 42,766

Product description

When Abraham Verghese, a physician whose marriage is unravelling, relocates to Texas, he hopes to make a fresh start as a staff member at a county hospital. There he meets David Smith, a medical student recovering from a drug addiction, and the two men begin a tennis ritual that allows them to shed their inhibitions and find security, in the sport they love and in each other. But when the dark beast that is David's addiction emerges once again, almost everything Verghese has come to trust and believe in is threatened. Compassionate and moving, The Tennis Player is an unforgettable, illuminating story of how men live and how they survive.

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Author information

Born and brought up of Indian parents in Ethiopia, Abraham Verghese qualified as a doctor in Madras and is currently professor of medicine at Stanford University, California. He is the author of My Own Country, an NBCC finalist made into a film directed by Mira Nair and the bestselling novel, Cutting for Stone.

Review quote

"Verghese is a fine writer, lyrical and controlled, and he captures the attachment between two men - its motives, its allure - with both precision and charm... Wise and compassionate" New York Times Book Review "A brave and heart-baring story" Time "Heartbreaking... Indelible and haunting... An elegy to friendship found and an ode to a good friend lost" Boston Globe

Editorial reviews

The acclaimed author of My Own Country(1996) turns his gaze inward to a pair of crises that hit even closer to home than the AIDS epidemic of which he wrote previously. Verghese took a teaching position at Texas Tech's medical school, and it's his arrival in the unfamiliar city of El Paso that triggers the events of his second book (parts of which appeared in the New Yorker). His marriage, already on the rocks in My Own Country, has collapsed utterly and the couple agree to a separation. In a new job in a new city, he finds himself more alone than he has ever been. But he becomes acquainted with a charming fourth-year student on his rotation, David, a former professional tennis player from Australia. Verghese, an ardent amateur himself, begins to play regularly with David and the two become close friends, indeed deeply dependent on each other. Gradually, the younger man begins to confide in his teacher and friend. David has a secret, known to most of the other students and staff at the teaching hospital but not to the recently arrived Verghese; he is a recovering drug addict whose presence at Tech is only possible if he maintains a rigorous schedule of AA meetings and urine tests. When David relapses and his life begins to spiral out of control, Verghese finds himself drawn into the young man's troubles. As in his previous book, Verghese distinguishes himself by virtue not only of tremendous writing skill - he has a talented diagnostician's observant eye and a girl for description - but also by his great humanity and humility. Verghese manages to recount the story of the failure of his marriage without recriminations and with a remarkable evenhandedness. Likewise, he tells David's story honestly and movingly. Although it runs down a little in the last 50 pages or so, this is a compulsively readable and painful book, a work of compassion and intelligence. (Kirkus Reviews)