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How a battle with Napoleon helped Abraham Verghese write his novel

Today on NPR's website, Abraham Verghese, MD, recalls how C.S. Forester's Ship of the Line transported his imagination onto a British frigate to battle Napoleon. And he shares how reading that novel helped him write his own:

C.S. Forester offered a powerful lesson which I took away in writing a medical novel - detail provides authenticity, but it is not necessary (and even detracts from the reader's experience) to explain every last detail. What matters is that it is authentic detail. And he showed that one can identify with a protagonist so removed from the world you live in, as long as you find something universal, something archetypal about a character who seems quite unique.

Previously: Abraham Verghese at Work: A New York Times profile, Physicians turn to books to better understand patients, selves, Cutting for Stone is one of Lynn Neary's 2009 book club picks, and Physician-writer Abraham Verghese featured on NPR

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