Far From the Tree, by Andrew Solomon

Far From the Tree is a fascinating work of nonfiction that examines the unique nature of identity, family, and how differences are more unifying than divisive. What does it mean, for example, to be the parent of a child who is deaf when you are hearing? Or the parent of a child with dwarfism or schizophrenia? Or the parent of a child who was conceived in rape or who has become a criminal? Those are just a few of the topics explored in this deeply thought-provoking book. 

All parents seek to find pieces of themselves in their children. Those pieces of self shared between parents and children are what author Andrew Solomon refers to as a “vertical identity.” Children, however, can also develop “horizontal identities,” such as when a deaf child born to hearing parents finds a strong sense of belonging in the deaf community. Thousands of hours of interviews went into the creation of this book and the result is moving and memorable. This is the kind of book that will continue to reveal new insights and revelations long after the final page.

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