Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
About the Book
Andrew Solomon’s startling proposition is that being exceptional in some way is at the core of the human condition — that difference is what unites us. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, or multiple severe disabilities; with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, and Solomon documents triumphs of love over prejudice in every chapter.
All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent should parents accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves? Drawing on ten years of research and interviews with three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges.
Elegantly reported by a spectacularly original and compassionate thinker, Far from the Tree explores how people who love each other must struggle to accept each other — a theme in every family’s life. The New York Times calls it a “wise and beautiful” volume, “that shoots arrow after arrow into your heart,” and says that it “will shake up your preconceptions and leave you in a better place.”