Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
This is the winner of the Wellcome book prize 2014. It is a New York Times Bestseller. Sometimes your child - the most familiar person of all - is radically different from you. The saying goes that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. But what happens when it does? Drawing on interviews with over three hundred families, covering subjects including deafness, dwarfs, Down's Syndrome, Autism, Schizophrenia, disability, prodigies, children born of rape, children convicted of crime and transgender people, Andrew Solomon documents ordinary people making courageous choices. Difference is potentially isolating, but Far from the Tree celebrates repeated triumphs of human love and compassion to show that the shared experience of difference is what unites us. It is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction and eleven other national awards. It is the winner of the Green Carnation Prize.
Sometimes your child - the most familiar person of all - is radically different from you. The saying goes that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. But what happens when it does?
Winner of Green Carnation Prize 2013. Shortlisted for National Book Critics Circle Awards: Nonfiction 2013. Samuel Johnson Prize 2013.
"Far from the Tree is a landmark, revolutionary book. 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 "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 "A passionate and affecting work that will shake up your preconceptions and leave you in a better place. It's a book everyone should read. there's no one who wouldn't be a more imaginative and understanding parent - or human being - for having done so. breathtaking reading." -- Julie Myerson New York Times "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 - 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 "Parenting," writes Andrew Solomon in Far from the Tree, "is no sport for perfectionists." It's an irony of the book, 10 years in the making and his first since The Noonday Demon, that by militating against perfectionism, he only leaves the reader in greater awe of the art of the achievable. The book starts out as a study of parents raising "difficult" children, and ends up as an affirmation of what it is to be human." -- Emma Brockes Guardian
Andrew Solomon is a journalist and lecturer of politics, culture and psychology who writes regularly for the New Yorker, Newsweek, and the Guardian. He is a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Cornell University and Special Adviser on LGBT Affairs to Yale University's Department of Psychiatry. His highly acclaimed international study of depression, The Noonday Demon won the 2001 National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize. He lives with his husband and son in New York and London.