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Far from the Tree Audiobook

Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity

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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (911 )
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4.3 (785 )
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Performance
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  •  
    L. Ledger American in Shanghai 12-27-16
    L. Ledger American in Shanghai 12-27-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    12
    1
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    Story
    "Stays with you"

    Two years after listening to this, I still think about it all the time. Masterful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Anselmi Elverta, CA United States 12-11-16
    Beth Anselmi Elverta, CA United States 12-11-16 Member Since 2016

    Beth Anselmi

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    2
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    "Insightful and Engaging"

    I originally read the hard copy and, while I enjoyed it--my life doesn't provide a lot of uninterrupted reading time so my experience with it was somewhat disjointed.

    Hearing it read by the author was a joy. It is non-fiction that reads like fiction. This book is engaging for parents and non-parents alike. It left me longing for an opportunity to share a pot of tea with Mr. Solomon to ask all the follow-up questions the text sparked in me. Thank you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. Tiffany K. King Chicago, IL 09-23-16
    Ms. Tiffany K. King Chicago, IL 09-23-16 Member Since 2016
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    7
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    "Excellent content, unbearably narration"

    This book was incredibly well researched and written and the content and personal stories were both fascinating and captivating. Unfortunately, the performance by the author made the listening experience painful. His monotone delivery and pretentious annunciations would have been difficult for a standard length book, but trying to get through over 40 hours of this was a challenge. I was torn between wanting to finish the book and cringing at the sound of his voice so much that quitting sounded like a better idea. In the end I preserved and am grateful for the decision. I would suggest reading, as opposed to listening if time allows you to do so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Blades 09-05-16

    It says Bill but these reviews are by his wife, me, Debbie. I am into healthy eating and 'truly' loving one another.

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    "Walk a mile in many different shoes..."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua A. Gibson Nashville, TN 09-05-16
    Joshua A. Gibson Nashville, TN 09-05-16 Member Since 2016
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    "This is the best book I've ever read!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zoel 08-24-16
    Zoel 08-24-16 Member Since 2015
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    14
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    "Amazing book"

    I want to buy this as a gift for everyone I know. Really great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shanna 08-23-16
    Shanna 08-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    23
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    "Expands your thinking"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Otus Pare 06-28-16
    Otus Pare 06-28-16 Member Since 2015
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    5
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    "exceptional"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Brazil 06-08-16
    Amazon Customer Brazil 06-08-16 Member Since 2017

    Curious Boy

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    9
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    "Beautiful beyond my capacity for words"

    I have never cried so frequently as in the weeks it took me to finish this, and I'm so glad for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JOHE 05-30-16
    JOHE 05-30-16 Member Since 2016
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    8
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    "it was a life experience "

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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