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)
Gripping, comprehensive research on parenting a different child. The author's heartfelt narration made me feel intimately connected to his material.
I did not read the print version but I did quite enjoy the audio version. It was set up well for an audio book.
Mr Solomon's performance was great. I loved it.
Very long book, so had to be listened to over a couple weeks.
I was sad when the book ended; I wanted to keep learning.
I was very excited to listen to this book as the topics and interviews sounded fascinating. It has a lot of wonderful content, but it seems to drag on quite a bit. It may seem this way on audio, if not when read, but each chapter seems to wander and not feel well organized. I also do not enjoy the author's voice and with such a long book this is particularly frustrating. As excited as I was to get this book, I find it so difficult to listen to that I've only gotten about one third of the way through and have gone ahead and bought another audio book to listen to on my commute. I hope I'll be able to finish Far from the Tree in small chunks.
Not unless it was abridged.
Nothing. He is a researcher and author but not an actor.
I haven't finished it. It is great information but too many unnecessary details.
This book has changed how I view people, including myself, for the better. With extraordinary empathy and respect, Solomon tells the stories of parents who raise children who are significantly different from themselves. He illuminates the complex challenges faced by both parents and children and describes how people from all walks of life address those challenges, including both successful and less successful outcomes. Differences include Down Syndrome, Dwarfism, children of rape, Deafness, Autism, transgender children, Schizophrenia, precocious children, criminal children, profound disability (I may have forgotten one or two).
This is a LONG book (6 downloads), yet I could not put it down - I kept looking for opportunities to keep listening. I am now grieving the end of the book. Solomon reads the book himself, and the respect and empathy shines through in his telling.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a parent, works with disabled people, or was ever a child.....
Solomon has done an incredible job in focusing and illustrating how families stay healthy for all their members. His writing is excellent and he was, surprising to me, the perce t reader for the book. I read the entire book in a week. Amazing and wonderful.
Each of the families he interviews and described.
Excellent. Not one false note.
This book should get a Pulitzer.
This is definitely the best nonfiction book I read in 2012. The chapters that dealt with individuals in groups I was familiar with, sometimes even close to, were so disturbingly true, that they were painful to listen to. But because those chapters were so true and so real, I felt the chapters on other "different" types of individuals--ones I have not known--were probably very accurate as well. Solomon did a fabulous job reading this book with its many quotations from individuals he personally interviewed. I do not believe a reader other than Solomon would have been able to deliver these powerful and at times heartbreaking words with as much veracity as he did.
This book is a tour de force. It was a long read, but at the end I felt it was worth every minute I spent with it. I learned a great deal, and I had much of what I have known in my life confirmed. It renewed my sense of the complexity of deep human experience, both positive and negative, in the lives of ordinary people.
The narrator is also the author. His tone is kind of annoying.
I enjoyed the stories, but less so the author's dissection of them.
Meh. Meh. Meh.
I skipped over parts, so I guess not.
Interesting but a bit too lengthy.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content