News Release

News and Public Information Office
Glos Center
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-7592
(513) 529-1950 fax



OXFORD, Ohio -- Dr. Abraham Verghese, author of My Own Country: A

Doctor's Story, will address Miami University's convocation at 1:30 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 25, in Millett Hall.

The convocation ties in with Miami's summer reading program for first-year

students, who will be asked to read Verghese's book before arriving on


Immediately following the convocation, first-year students will meet in small

groups to discuss the book informally with faculty, staff and undergraduate


My Own Country is a memoir of one physician's encounter with the global

pandemic of AIDS.

Born in Ethiopia and educated in India, Verghese began his medical residency

in Johnson City, Tenn., and after further training in infectious diseases at

Boston City Hospital, he returned to Johnson City to practice medicine.

In 1985, AIDS seemed a disease that affected only gay men on the East and West

coasts of the United States. The reality that AIDS does not distinguish by

gender, sexual orientation or region struck him soon enough as patient after

patient came to his office.

The book is a series of portraits of men and women facing a terrible illness

with remarkable dignity and courage.

The convocation and book will introduce students to related events on HIV

awareness and on AIDS. The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed

Sept. 20-21 in Millett Hall. Lectures and panel discussions will also be

scheduled throughout the academic year.

The university convocation is held the day before first-semester classes

begin. It is open to the public.

Faculty, staff and students who wish to lead a discussion group on Verghese's

book are asked to write or call the liberal education office, 219 Culler Hall,



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