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

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

by Andrew Solomon

Scribner | October 1, 2013 | Trade Paperback

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Solomon's startling proposition in Far from the Tree is that being exceptional 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 more than 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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 976 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × 1.57 in

Published: October 1, 2013

Publisher: Scribner

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0743236726

ISBN - 13: 9780743236720

Found in: Social and Cultural Studies

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– More About This Product –

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

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

by Andrew Solomon

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 976 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × 1.57 in

Published: October 1, 2013

Publisher: Scribner

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0743236726

ISBN - 13: 9780743236720

Read from the Book

Far From the Tree III Dwarfs Until I attended my first dwarf convention—the 2003 Little People of America (LPA) meeting in Danvers, Massachusetts—I had no clue how many kinds of dwarfism there are, nor how many varieties of appearance are collected under the category. Dwarfism is a low-incidence condition, usually occurring because of a random genetic mutation. Since most dwarfs are born to average-height parents, they do not have vertical community. There has been occasional talk about building a town for little people (LPs); there are metropolises where activist LPs have settled; there are high concentrations of otherwise rare dwarfing conditions among the Amish; but there has never been a significant geographic concentration of people of short stature. This means that the national LPA gatherings are not simply occasions to attend lectures and consult medical experts; for some participants, they are the annual exception to a certain kind of loneliness. The gatherings are emotionally intense; one dwarf I met told me she was “happy for one week a year,” although others emphasized that they love both of their lives—the one in the larger world, and the one among their LPA friends. More than 10 percent of Americans of short stature belong to LPA, and the organization has a role in the LP community that is greater than that of similar groups for comparable populations. Arriving at the Sheraton Ferncroft Resort, where the convention was taking place,
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From the Publisher

Solomon's startling proposition in Far from the Tree is that being exceptional 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 more than 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.

About the Author

Andrew Solomon was born in New York City on October 30, 1963. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Yale University and a Master's degree in English at Jesus College, Cambridge. He has written for numerous publications including The New York Times and The New Yorker. He has written several non-fiction books including The Irony Tower, Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, and The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, which won the 2001 National Book Award. He also wrote the novel A Stone Boat. He is a lecturer in psychiatry at Cornell University and special advisor on LGBT affairs to the Yale School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry.

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"The most amazing book I've ever read…"
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