National Book Critics Circle Award, Nonfiction, 2013
From the National Book Award-winning author of the "brave...deeply humane...open-minded, critically informed, and poetic" (The New York Times) The Noonday Demon, comes a game-changer of a book about the impact of extreme personal and cultural difference between parents and children.
A brilliant and utterly original thinker, Andrew Solomon's journey began from his experience of being the gay child of straight parents. He wondered how other families accommodate children who have a variety of differences: families of people who are deaf, who are dwarfs, who have Down syndrome, who have autism, who have schizophrenia, who have multiple severe disabilities, who are prodigies, who commit crimes, who are transgender. Bookended with Solomon's experiences as a son, and then later as a father, this book explores the old adage that says the apple doesn't fall far from the tree; instead some apples fall a couple of orchards away, some on the other side of the world.
In 12 sharply observed and moving chapters, Solomon describes individuals who have been heartbreaking victims of intense prejudice, but also stories of parents who have embraced their childrens' differences and tried to change the world's understanding of their conditions. Solomon's humanity, eloquence, and compassion give a voice to those people who are never heard. A riveting, powerful take on a major social issue, Far from the Tree offers far-reaching conclusions about new families, academia, and the way our culture addresses issues of illness and identity.
©2012 Andrew Solomon (P)2012 Simon & Schuster, Inc
"In Far from the Tree, Andrew Solomon reminds us that nothing is more powerful in a child's development than the love of a parent. This remarkable new book introduces us to mothers and fathers across America - many in circumstances the rest of us can hardly imagine - who are making their children feel special, no matter what challenges come their way." (President Bill Clinton)
"This is one of the most extraordinary books I have read in recent times - brave, compassionate and astonishingly humane. Solomon approaches one of the oldest questions - how much are we defined by nature versus nurture? - and crafts from it a gripping narrative. Through his stories, told with such masterful delicacy and lucidity, we learn how different we all are, and how achingly similar. I could not put this book down." (Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies)
"An informative and moving book that raises profound issues regarding the nature of love, the value of human life, and the future of humanity." (Kirkus)
It says Bill but these reviews are by his wife, me, Debbie. I am into healthy eating and 'truly' loving one another.
Be ready to learn a lot as this book was written by interview after interview with people who are different or parents of children who are different or both. It is not written to be entertaining, at least in my view, it was written to teach and teach me it did, in abundance. Amazing perspectives if you are open-minded enough to put yourself in someone elses shoes as you read and not judge.
The social commentary provided by Andrew Solomon is quite profound. The stories contained came alive and personalized the, sometimes, nebulous social situations contained within society. This is an opus that is ever so helpful, especially for those in the helping professions, but for all of humanity.
Brought clarity to subjects foreign to me. Gender identity, dwarfism, deaf culture to name a few. Soloman's writing is authentic, insightful and artistic. Always a joy.
An intellectual and spiritual journey that was so beautifully wrtien. this book should not only be required reading for policy makers, educators, parents, and doctors; but for anyone who wants to grow as a compassionate and open person.
I experienced great growth as a person, I won't be or see people the same way again, it's been an eye opening experience, in which self acceptance took part and the understanding of love went deeper wider challenging Me to a better self,ñ. thanks Andrew.
I enjoyed the overall book. I liked the many different stories and narratives shared. The author has a talent for descriptive words and phrases.
I would like to have heard more parents perspective in the stories of those not naturally afflicted. Meaning it was a choice of what they were doing and not a result of birth etc.
The author did a great job narrating the story as well.
I have already recommended it to several friends.
Life triumphs in this very real account of parenting exceptional children. Beautifully written, thoroughly researched.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.