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Far from the Tree


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About the Author

Andrew Solomon is a professor of psychology at Columbia University, president of PEN American Center, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, NPR, and The New York Times Magazine. A lecturer and activist, he is the author of Far and Away: Essays from the Brink of Change: Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years; the National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, which has won thirty additional national awards; and The Noonday Demon; An Atlas of Depression, which won the 2001 National Book Award, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and has been published in twenty-four languages. He has also written a novel, A Stone Boat, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award and The Irony Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost. His TED talks have been viewed over ten million times. He lives in New York and London and is a dual national. For more information, visit the author's website at AndrewSolomon.com.


"Far from the Tree" is a landmark, revolutionary book. It frames an area of inquiry difference between parents and children that many of us have experienced in our own lives without ever considering it as a phenomenon. Andrew Solomon plumbs his topic thoroughly, humanely, and in a compulsively readable style that makes the book as entertaining as it is illuminating. --Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

"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

[Far from the Tree"] is a masterpiece of non-fiction, the culmination of a decade s worth of research and writing, and it should be required reading for psychologists, teachers, and above all, parents A bold and unambiguous call to redefine how we view difference A stunning work of scholarship and compassion. --Carmela Ciuraru "USA Today "

[These] stories are entirely unpredictable and offer us the full range of human experience not only the horror but also the astonishing beauty and in the end a Shakespearean sense that we are such stuff as dreams are made of. --Judith Newman "More "

A behemoth worth every one of its 976 pages. --Amy Boaz "Publishers Weekly "

A book of extraordinary ambition Part journalist, part psychology researcher, part sympathetic listener, Solomon s true talent is a geographic one: he maps the strange terrain of the human struggle that is parenting. --Brook Wilensky-Lanford "The San Francisco Cronicle "

A brave, beautiful book that will expand your humanity. --Anne Leslie "PEOPLE "

A careful, subtle, and surprising book. --Nathan Heller "The New Yorker "

A raucous, joyful tribute that exalts all parents who love their alien offspring with molten force. --Ann Bauer "Minneapolis Star-Tribune "

Andrew Solomon has written a brave and ambitious work, bringing together science, culture and a powerful empathy. Solomon tells us that we have more in common with each other even with those who seem anything but normal than we would ever have imagined. --Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point

Deeply moving --Lisa Zeidner "The Washington Post "

Deeply profound [A] brilliant tome. --Kristen Kemp "Parents magazine "

Far from the Tree" is fundamentally about the bonds and burdens of family, and it s a huge valentine to those who embrace the challenge of raising children who are in some way not what they had hoped for. --Virginia Vitzthum "ELLE "

Far-reaching, original, fascinating Andrew Solomon's investigation of many of the most intense challenges that parenthood can bring compels us all to reexamine how we understand human difference. Perhaps the greatest gift of this monumental book, full of facts and full of feelings, is that it constantly makes one think, and think again. --Philip Gourevitch, author of We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families

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

It s a book everyone should read and there s no one who wouldn t be a more imaginative and understanding parent or human being for having done so. --Julie Myerson "The New York Times Book Review "

Masterfully written and brilliantly researched Far from the Tree" stands apart from the countless memoirs and manuals about special needs parenting published in the last couple of decades. --Tina Calabro "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "

Monumental Solomon has an extraordinary gift for finding his way into the relatively hermetic communities that form around conditions and gaining the confidence of the natives. --Lev Grossman "TIME "

Solomon has found remarkable fonts of love and kindness in the mothers and fathers of children afflicted with severe problems, and he captures their lives in one touching anecdote after another. --Paul McHugh "The Wall Street Journal "

Solomon is a storyteller of great intimacy and ease He approaches each family s story thoughtfully, respectfully Bringing together their voices, Solomon creates something of enduring warmth and beauty: a quilt, a choir. --Kate Tuttle "The Boston Globe "

Solomon is a superb writer [Far from the Tree"] is the author s Song of Myself, a book containing multitudes. It is a gorgeous, necessary, ambitious book. --George Estreich "The Oregonian "

Solomon s first chapter, entitled Son, is as masterly a piece of writing as I ve come across all year. It combines his own story with a taut and elegant precis of this book s arguments. It is required reading This is a book that shoots arrow after arrow into your heart. --Dwight Garner "The New York Times "

Solomon treats his subjects with great empathy. --Rachel Wexelbaum "Lambda Literary Review "

Solomon, a highly original student of human behavior, has written an intellectual history that lays the foundation for a 21st century Psychological Bill of Rights. In addition to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness on the basis of race and religion, this Bill extends inalienable rights of psychological acceptance to people on the basis of their identity. He provides us with an unrivalled educational experience about identity groups in our society, an experience that is filled with insight, empathy and intelligence. We also discover the redefining, self-restructuring nature that caring for a child produces in parents, no matter how unusual or disabled the child is. Reading "Far from the Tree" is a mind-opening experience. --Eric Kandel, author of The Age of Insight and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

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