Far From The Tree: Parents, Children And The Search For Identity

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Solomon Tells The Stories Of Parents Who Not Only Learn To Deal With Their Exceptional Children But Also Find Profound Meaning In Doing So. Son -- Deaf -- Dwarfs -- Down Syndrome -- Autism -- Schizophrenia -- Disability -- Prodigies -- Rape -- Crime -- Transgender -- Father. Andrew Solomon. Includes Bibliographical References (p. 831-906) And Index.

Author : Andrew Solomon

Publisher : Scribner

Published Year : 2012

Edition : 1

Format : Print - Hardcover, 976 pages

Subject : Children with disabilities--Psychology, Children with disabilities--United States--Psychology, Exceptional children--Psychology, Exceptional children--United States--Psychology, Parents of children with disabilities, Parents of children with disabilities--United States, Parents of exceptional children, Parents of exceptional children--United States, Identity (Psychology), Identity (Psychology)--United States, Parent and child--Psychological aspects, Parent and child--United States--Psychological aspects, Disabled Children--psychology, Child, Exceptional--psychology, Social Identification, Parents--psychology, Parent-Child Relations, HV888.5 .S65 2012, HV 888.5 S65 2012, 362.4083/0973

Language : Eng English

Dimensions : Ix, 962 P. ; 25 Cm.

ISBN : 0743236718

ISBN13 : 9780743236713


Overview :


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 book about the consequences of extreme personal and cultural difference between parents and children.

As a gay child of straight parents, Andrew Solomon was born with a condition that was considered an illness, but it became a cornerstone of his identity. While reporting on the explosion of Deaf pride in the 1990s, he began to consider illness and identity as a continuum with shifting boundaries. Spurred by the disability-rights movement and empowered by the Internet, communities with such “horizontal identities” are challenging expectations and norms.

Their stories begin in families coping with extreme difference: dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, multiple severe disabilities, or prodigious genius; children conceived in rape, or who identify as transgender; children who develop schizophrenia or commit serious crimes. The adage asserts that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but in Solomon’s explorations, some apples fall on the other side of the world.

For ten years, interviewing more than 250 families, Solomon has observed not just how some families learn to deal with exceptional children, but also how they find profound meaning in doing so. An utterly original thinker, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people who have somehow summoned hope and courage in the face of heartbreaking prejudice and almost unimaginable difficulty.

Far from the Tree is a masterpiece that will rattle our prejudices, question our policies, and inspire our understanding of the relationship between illness and identity. Above all, it will renew and deepen our gratitude for the herculean reach of parental love.

Winner of the 2013 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize
2013 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award Winner
Winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
Winner of the 2012 Books for a Better Life Award for Psychology
One of the New York Times Book Review's Top 10 Books of 2012