Andrew Solomon regularly writes -- beautifully -- of people coping in unthinkable conditions: a woman who learns to love the daughter she bore after being raped; the father who tries to come to terms with his murderous son. Figuring out a way to cope with purposeless tragedy poses a real challenge for meaning-making humans. Thu Ha digs in.Continue reading
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
More news and ideas from Andrew Solomon
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 […]Continue reading
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 […]Continue reading