>> Sunday, November 4, 2012
Solomon’s startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us all. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, as are the triumphs of love Solomon documents in every chapter.
All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on forty thousand pages of interview transcripts with more than three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges. Whether considering prenatal screening for genetic disorders, cochlear implants for the deaf, or gender reassignment surgery for transgender people, Solomon narrates a universal struggle toward compassion. Many families grow closer through caring for a challenging child; most discover supportive communities of others similarly affected; some are inspired to become advocates and activists, celebrating the very conditions they once feared. Woven into their courageous and affirming stories is Solomon’s journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision, influenced by this research, to become a parent.
Elegantly reported by a spectacularly original thinker, Far from the Tree explores themes of generosity, acceptance, and tolerance—all rooted in the insight that love can transcend every prejudice. This crucial and revelatory book expands our definition of what it is to be human.
About the author
Andrew Solomon (born 30 October 1963) is a writer on politics, culture and psychology who lives in New York and London. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Travel and Leisure, and other publications on a range of subjects, including depression, Soviet artists, the cultural rebirth of Afghanistan, Libyan politics, and deaf politics. His book The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression won the 2001 National Book Award, was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, and was included in The Times of London's list of one hundred best books of the decade.
Amazon's editors selected this title as one of the Best Books of the Month.
- Kindle book