Oprah Has Emotional Conversation With Abraham Verghese
India-West News Desk
NEW YORK, NY – In an interview that was recorded in May and has now been released, Oprah Winfrey sat down with renowned author and infectious disease expert, Abraham Verghese, discussing his latest novel, “The Covenant of Water,” the 101st selection for Oprah’s Book Club. The exclusive conversation, held in front of a captivated audience of Oprah Daily Insiders, shed light on the multifaceted life of Verghese, delving into the profound themes of his literary masterpiece.
Despite his impressive credentials as a professor and vice chair at Stanford University, a TED Talk superstar, and a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, Verghese revealed his vulnerable side during the interview, addressing the public’s perception of him as an impeccable character. “People often project onto me that I’m this Pollyanna, saintly, holy character,” he confessed, “but I assure you, I’m not. I have many, many flaws, and many regrets.”
The conversation turned intensely personal as Verghese candidly responded to questions from the audience about his decision to explore sensitive topics such as sexual assault and addiction in “The Covenant of Water.” Moreover, Oprah skillfully probed into Verghese’s experiences on the front lines of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and how his family history deeply influenced his writing.
Oprah, who has been vocal about her exceptional admiration for “The Covenant of Water,” didn’t hold back in expressing her affinity for the novel. She has launched an extensive six-part podcast series dedicated to analyzing every aspect of this “modern masterpiece.”
Set against the backdrop of Kerala, the epic tale spans 77 years of national, medical, and personal history, following the journey of a single family. Starting in 1900 with an arranged marriage involving a 12-year-old girl and a 40-year-old widow, the novel delves into the family’s haunting secret: a recurring pattern of drowning deaths, which instills terror in a region surrounded by water.
“The Covenant of Water” weaves together a tapestry of love, loss, redemption, and cultural richness, as Oprah herself described it, even encompassing “a couple of steamy sex scenes.” During the conversation, Verghese shed light on the challenges of crafting such intense details within the narrative.
As the interview concluded, Oprah encouraged viewers and readers to share their questions for Verghese in the comments section and engage in discussions about the book.
The full interview is available for viewing on Oprahdaily.com.