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

by ANDREW SOLOMON

Scribner | October 1, 2013 | Trade Paperback

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 5.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, a Books for a Better Life Award, and one of The New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of 2012, this masterpiece by the National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon features stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children, but also find profound meaning in doing so—“a brave, beautiful book that will expand your humanity” (People).

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, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.6 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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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant treatise on special children A thoroughly brilliant study on all manner of disabilities. Researched and well written. An important work
Date published: 2015-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Monumental, moving Through a dozen chapters Solomon talks with families divided by deafness, physical impairments, sexuality, crime, and more. It's a beautiful, heartfelt book that takes its time and shows true respect for its subjects, who Solomon seems to have spent a decade interviewing. I read one chapter every month while reading other books along the way (I STRONGLY recommend this approach, as each chapter is the length of a short book), and I felt like when I got to the end I was a slightly kinder, more patient and compassionate person. An incredible, monumental book that I can't praise highly enough.
Date published: 2014-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good Solomon writes a well researched tome about the relationships parents have with their children who are unlike them – children with disabilities, children who become criminals, children who are prodigies, children who are born of rape, etc. Each chapter tackles a different hurdle. Despite its size, this book was immensely readable and informative. My only criticism is that it could have been better organized and edited. I felt like Solomon wanted to include every case study simply because he had the info, and often his examples overload one point while leaving others fallow. As well, the intro meanders on too long about his acceptance of his homosexuality.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! An absolutely fascinating book! The author effectively interweaves scientific research and academic findings with descriptions of families who have progeny different from themselves. After many years of working in the field with special-needs individuals, I considered myself somewhat knowledgeable on the subject - but I have learned so much from this book. I will read it again and again!
Date published: 2013-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly amazing book Incredibly well researched and well written
Date published: 2013-03-31

– 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, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.6 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, I was struck by how the conce
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From the Publisher

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, a Books for a Better Life Award, and one of The New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of 2012, this masterpiece by the National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon features stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children, but also find profound meaning in doing so—“a brave, beautiful book that will expand your humanity” (People).

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.

Editorial Reviews

“The most amazing book I’ve ever read…”