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Far from the Tree: A Dozen Kinds of Love

Far from the Tree: A Dozen Kinds of Love

Author: Andrew Solomon
$38.00(NZD)  inc GST
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Description
"In Far from the Tree, Andrew Solomon tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so. His proposition is that diversity is what unites us all. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, 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, as are the triumphs of love he documents in every chapter. All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on 40,000 pages of interview transcripts with more than three hundred families, the author mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges. Whether considering prenatal screening for genetic disorders, cochlear implants for the deaf, or gender reassignment surgery for transgender people, he narrates a universal struggle toward compassion. Many families grow closer through caring for a challenging child; most discover supportive communities of others similarly affected; some are inspired to become advocates and activists, celebrating the very conditions they once feared. Woven into their courageous and affirming stories is the author's journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision, influenced by this research, to become a parent. In this book he explores themes of generosity, acceptance, and tolerance, all rooted in the insight that love can transcend every prejudice; and expands our definition of what it is to be human." -- Back cover.
Promotion info

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?

Reviews

"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

Author description

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.

Stock Information

General Fields

  • : 9780701188764
  • : Random House
  • : Chatto & Windus
  • : September 2013
  • : United Kingdom
  • : November 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Andrew Solomon
  • : Paperback
  • : 1113
  • : en
  • : 158.2
  • : 962