Andrew Solomon is a writer on politics, culture and psychology.

Why you should listen

Andrew Solomon's 2012 book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children, but also find profound meaning in doing so. Solomon’s startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us. 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. Their struggles toward compassion and the triumphs of love -- so very different, yet sharing profound common links -- are documented in every chapter.

Woven into these courageous and affirming stories is Solomon’s journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision, influenced by this research, to become a parent. Solomon’s previous book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, won the 2001 National Book Award for nonfiction.

What others say

"I do not say this often or lightly, ["Far From the Tree"] is a book of genius." — Tom Ashbrook, NPR

Andrew Solomon’s TED talks

Andrew Solomon on the TED Blog
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Live from TED2014

In case you missed it: Day 5 of TED2014

March 22, 2014

This year’s packed conference came to a close on March 21, 2014: Day 5 at TED2014. Here are some highlights from this Friday: Mark Ronson ruled the dance floor On Thursday night, Mark Ronson DJ’d for TEDsters. Bent over the mixing board under a neon green TED sign, he tied all the music back to […]

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Live from TED2014

Forge meaning, build identity: Andrew Solomon at TED2014

March 21, 2014

The extraordinary and eloquent Andrew Solomon closes TED2014 with a talk that brought the theater to its feet. Popular wisdom, begins Solomon, is that we find meaning, that it is an external truth to seek. But after a lifetime as a student of adversity, he has found that meaning, in fact, is forged. Solomon recalls […]

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Live from TED2014

Onward: Speakers in Session 12 at TED2014

March 21, 2014

As we celebrate the last three decades of ideas at TED, we’re looking ahead and asking ourselves: what’s next? Each of the speakers in this session looks boldly toward the future, from a media visionary to an entrepreneur reimagining education to two powerful talks on overcoming a difficult past. Here are the speakers who appeared […]

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Quotes from Andrew Solomon

People … don't want to be cured or changed or eliminated. They want to be whoever it is that they've come to be.
Andrew Solomon
TEDMED 2013 • 2M views Jun 2013
Inspiring, Beautiful
If some glorious angel suddenly descended through my living room ceiling and offered to take away the children I have and give me other, better children — more polite, funnier, nicer, smarter — I would cling to the children I have and pray away that atrocious spectacle.
Andrew Solomon
TEDMED 2013 • 2M views Jun 2013
Inspiring, Beautiful