Accolades
Far from the Tree is a landmark, revolutionary book. It frames an area of inquiry ‐difference between parents and children–that many of us have experienced in our own lives without ever considering it as a phenomenon. 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, Pulitzer Prize– winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

Andrew Solomon has written a brave and ambitious work, bringing together science, culture and a powerful empathy. Solomon tells us that we have more in common with each other– even with those who seem anything but normal– than we would ever have imagined.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and The Tipping Point

Solomon, a highly original student of human behavior, has written an intellectual history that lays the foundation for a 21st century Psychological Bill of Rights. In addition to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness on the basis of race and religion, this Bill extends inalienable rights of psychological acceptance to people on the basis of their identity. He provides us with an unrivaled educational experience about identity groups in our society, an experience that is filled with insight, empathy and intelligence. We also discover the redefining, self-restructuring nature that caring for a child produces in parents, no matter how unusual or disabled the child is. Reading Far from the Tree is a mind-opening experience.

Eric Kandel, author of The Age of Insight and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

In Far from the Tree, 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 across America –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

This is 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, Pulitzer Prize –winning author of The Emperor of all Maladies

Far-reaching, original, fascinating –Andrew Solomon's investigation of many of the most intense challenges that parenthood can bring compels us all to reexamine how we understand human difference. Perhaps the greatest gift of this monumental book, full of facts and full of feelings, is that it constantly makes one think, and think again

Philip Gourevitch, author of We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

  • Apr 22, 2013Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
    Juror Steven Pinker: “This is a monumental book, the kind that appears once in a decade. It could not be a better example of the literature of diversity.”
    Mar 01, 2013National Book Critics Circle
    The National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction goes to Far from the Tree!
    Mar 06, 2013Lambda Literary Foundation
    Far from the Tree nominated for the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Award
    Feb 06, 2013Guardian
    "'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."
    Feb 01, 2013Brooklyn Rail
    "Far From the Tree offers us a tour of the margins of human existence. Throughout the book, Solomon asks us to examine our own ideas about what constitutes personhood and to look at the moral ambivalence that often surrounds those who fall outside the norm."
    Feb 14, 2013London Evening Standard
    "This is a remarkable work: moving but never bathetic, challenging in parts but always worth the effort."
    Mar 09, 2013Mint
    "These are not simplistic “love triumphs all” stories, but nuanced studies of challenges, heartbreak and, in a lot of cases, eventual reconciliation, sometimes even triumph."
    Mar 21, 2013The Tablet
    "Solomon’s compassionate study of these dozen loves that are, and are not, like each other, illuminates not so much the heroism of difficult kinds of love as the adaptability of every kind."
    Feb 21, 2013Noise from Amerika
    "Solomon riporta da cronista attento ed imparziale, ponendosi molte delle domande che il lettore si pone, senza pretendere di saper rispondere, e se risponde lo fa senza mai giudicare le scelte di chi ha idee diverse, con un'empatia estrema cui ci si abitua quando si vive così a lungo in America."
    Mar 05, 2013Daily Hampshire Gazette
    "Solomon’s intellectual and emotional journey, over the 10 years he spent researching and writing the book, began in pity but ended in deep respect and receptivity."
    Apr 01, 2013Chronogram
    "The most gratifying letters I have gotten from people are the ones who say, "This book made me able to cherish my child in a way I didn't previously." And so if the book can in any regard increase the bulk of love in the world, then I feel I've done my job."
    Dec 05, 2012Parents.com
    "Deeply profound...tackles the feelings we don’t want to admit we have about kids who are outside society’s norms."
    Dec 05, 2012Time Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction of 2012
    "Illuminate[s] and celebrate[s] the bravery of millions of ordinary people in dealing with and getting past difference and adversity."
    Nov 25, 2012Cleveland Plain Dealer
    "At its core, Far From the Tree is about resilience, shorn of the simplistic condescension of TV news segments about 'overcoming adversity'....And [Solomon] has the oceans of compassion that reporting this book demands."
    Nov 21, 2012USA Today
    "A monumental work. This is a masterpiece of non-fiction, the culmination of a decade's worth of research and writing, and it should be required reading for psychologists, teachers, and above all, parents."
    Nov 23, 2012Boston Globe
    "[A] big, big-hearted book....Solomon’s project boils down to this: with stories come understanding, empathy, and respect."
    Nov 27, 2012Motherlode blog (NewYorkTimes.com)
    "A tribute to parents who live the daily grind, who celebrate incremental victories. The tough questions Solomon raises in his book about the elusive nature of love and acceptance were ones I tried not to think about for years. Now. . . thoughtful, compassionate books like “Far From the Tree” help me feel less alone."
    Nov 25, 2012New York Times Book Review, front page review
    “A generous, humane and compassionate book about what it means to be a parent…that will shake up your preconceptions and leave you in a better place.…wise and beautiful.”
    Dec 02, 2012New York Times Bestseller
    Far from the Tree will debut on the New York Times bestseller list, in the December 2nd issue of the Book Review.
    Nov 08, 2012The Today Show
    In Far From the Tree, Andrew Solomon examines a broad spectrum of families coping with children in exceptional circumstances and how they’ve not only dealt with their respective obstacles, but gained insight, solace and stronger senses of identity in the process.
    Nov 08, 2012Rock Center with Brian Williams
    Author Andrew Solomon talks about his interviews with the parents of Columbine High School shooter Dylan Klebold, who opened up publicly for thefirst time for a chapter in Solomon’s new book. “Far From the Tree” delves into the question of how parents love children who are very different than they are. Rock Center’s Kate Snow reports.
    Nov 04, 2012Vanity Fair
    “Andrew Solomon’s empathy, heart, and vast intelligence are in abundance in Far from the Tree.”
    Nov 15, 2012NPR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook
    “Children who are prodigies. Children who are deaf. Children who are transgender, or disabled, or dwarfs. The experience of raising – loving – these children, says Solomon, can take us to profound understandings of identity and, sometimes,deepest joy.”
    Aug 27, 2012Newsweek and The Daily Beast
    “What happens when your child is born deaf, autistic, a prodigy, or with any kind of difference that marks them as ‘not normal?’ That's the heartbreaking question at the center of Solomon's opus. He journeys across national, ethnic, and religious lines to speak to parents about their children—and along the way he learns about what makes us human.”
    Nov 20, 2012Associated Press
    "My objective… was to show that the differences that feel so isolating actually connect us to one another, and to try help people to feel less alone in their life experience.”
    Nov 18, 2012Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    “Masterfully written and brilliantly researched….By engaging in an exhaustive study of human difference, Mr. Solomon himself provides something different. In an age that often demands brevity, it's an unusual gift.”
    Nov 13, 2012Yale Alumni Magazine
    “Solomon hold himself to a high standard of restraint, kindness, and reason, but he doesn’t try to hide the passion that animates him. He intends to move those who have felt themselves isolated by the experience of difference to recognize that they form ‘a vast company’—a majority, in fact.”
    Nov 01, 2012More Magazine
    “We long for our children to be just like us, to pay us what may be life’s most profound compliment: their choosing to live according to our own system of values. But when they don’t—or can’t—what happens to our identity and theirs? These questions lie at the heart of Andrew Solomon’s extraordinary new book, Far from the Tree.”
    Oct 18, 2012Elle Magazine
    “Far from the Tree is fundamentally about the bonds and burdens of family, and it’s a huge valentine to those who embrace the challenge of raising children who are in some way not what they had hoped for.”
    Sep 17, 2012Publishers Weekly
    "A profoundly moving new work of research and narrative... Solomon’s own trials of feeling marginalized as gay, dyslexic, and depressive, while still yearning to be a father, frame these affectingly rendered real tales about bravely playing the cards one’s dealt."
  • Apr 18, 2013Lukas Book Prize
    The judges described Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity as "a tour de force of heart, head, shoe leather, and terrific writing, gives us a moving and deeply nuanced mural of the American family today."
    Apr 01, 2013JAACAP
    "Solomon neither espouses nor decries the notion that identity and difference are central concerns in our society; rather, he recognizes it as a fact. He writes a deeply thoughtful, balanced, and highly informed book about what it means to be different from one’s parents’ expectations."
    Feb 16, 2013The Spectator
    "Nobody could read this extraordinary, moving book and not feel enlightened, but above all enlarged by it."
    Feb 09, 2013Observer
    "A couple of weeks ago I wrote a story about Google in which I discovered in passing that the question "what is love?" was almost always among the top 10 queries, minute by minute, to the search engine. In future Google might do well to point the askers of this oldest question in the direction of Andrew Solomon's extraordinary book."
    Feb 10, 2013Sunday Times
    "Is it a betrayal of your "horizontal" identity to seek to change it, an admission that the disabled must conform to what society deems acceptable, cosmetically or otherwise?"
    Feb 18, 2013The Telegraph
    "Solomon interviewed more than 200 families during his research, and he records with tender precision the extremities of anguish and devotion that he discovered."
    Mar 09, 2013Indian Express
    "Solomon has fashioned a tremendous and humane book that is bound to alter the way one thinks of difference, disability, love and commitment."
    Mar 18, 2013Copenhagen Post
    "Fascinating and inspiring... what these families have in common is that they are proof that love can transcend every prejudice."
    Mar 18, 2013Estadão de Sao Paolo
    "Numa era em que a tecnologia reforça a ilusão da perfeição adquirida, o livro é uma crônica do afeto que move a aceitação incondicional."
    Dec 29, 2012La Nacion
    "¿Quién es esta persona?, se preguntan muchos padres perplejos cuando ven a sus hijos transformados específicamente en ellos mismos. Mostrando los ejemplos extremos de esta extrañeza, Solomon nos recuerda que esta distancia, a veces, puede parecer infinita. Pero nunca es insalvable."
    Jan 08, 2013"Katie" with Katie Couric
    Andrew sits down with Katie Couric to discuss how parents turn their child’s struggle into their greatest strength.
    Dec 06, 2012The Economist's Best Books of 2012
    "A ground-breaking book in which an eminent American writer on depression describes how children who are gay, deaf, dwarves, schizophrenic or have Down’s syndrome discover their identities—and asks whether close contact with disabled people will make the world more human."
    Dec 05, 2012New York Times Book Review - 10 Best Books
    "Complicates everything we thought we knew about love, sacrifice and success."
    Nov 25, 2012Washington Post
    "Solomon forcefully showcases parents who not only aren’t horrified by the differences they encounter in their offspring, but who rise to the occasion by embracing them. In so doing, they reveal a 'shimmering humanity' that speaks to our noblest impulses to nurture."
    Nov 24, 2012Salon.com
    "You will probably find yourself wiping away tears. You will find yourself underlining lines of breathtaking insight on nearly every other page. You might find yourself angry over the way Solomon equates or compares very different challenges. But it’s impossible to read Far From The Tree without testing the limits of your own empathy."
    Nov 26, 2012San Francisco Chronicle
    "A book of extraordinary ambition....Solomon's true talent is a geographic one: He maps the strange terrain of the human struggle that is parenting."
    Dec 01, 2012Minneapolis Star-Tribune
    "Read from beginning to end, this is a raucous, joyful tribute that exalts all parents who love their alien offspring with molten force."
    Nov 21, 2012Washington Post (On Parenting Blog)
    "Just as we head into the holiday frenzy, we have been delivered a bracing reminder of why gratitude is essential in parenting."
    Nov 13, 2012New York Times Daily Review
    “As masterly a piece of writing as I’ve come across all year… [Solomon’s] profiles of families in extremis…will leave you weeping at the resilience so many display in the face of adversity.”
    Nov 12, 2012NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross
    "We all love flawed children and the general assumption that these more extreme flaws make their children somehow unlovable — it wasn't true of most of my experience," Solomon tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
    Nov 19, 2012New Yorker
    "A careful, subtle, and surprising… exploration of difference as it shapes family life.”
    Nov 08, 2012NPR's All Things Considered
    "I found as I did the research that each of these individual differences felt very isolating to the people who were experiencing [them]. But then, in fact, there was an enormous amount that the parents dealing with these things all had in common.”
    Nov 11, 2012New York Magazine
    “I have seldom read a book that made me feel moral quandaries as intensely as this one…I seldom cry at books, but I was moved to tears by Far From the Tree more times than I can count. What undid me, again and again, was the radical humanity of these parents, and their gratitude to and for children they never would have chosen.”
    Nov 21, 2012Forbes.com
    “An 11-year meditation on the diversity of human experience—a natural history of difference.”
    Nov 20, 2012Shelf Awareness
    “I was struck that most deaf children are born to hearing parents who try to normalize them by giving them skills in lip reading and oral communication. Many of those children find it impossible to function in the hearing world, and when they discover Deaf culture in adolescence, it is a great liberation for them. It was a story that had some resonance for me as a gay person; gay people, too, are born to parents to whom their condition is foreign, and they have to learn identity from a peer group.”
    Nov 12, 2012Huffington Post
    “Solomon views the journey of his subject families—from denial to understanding, from confusion to acceptance—as one that every single parent takes, whatever the health or abilities of their children.”
    Nov 07, 2012Psychology Today
    “When does parental love dictate acceptance and when does it call for intervention? Solomon’s elucidation of these matters is majestic in scope and in its reserves of compassion, a chronicle of self-discovery that finds parallels in all humanity.”
    Nov 01, 2012Kirkus Review
    “An informative and moving book that raises profound issues regarding the nature of love, the value of human life, and the future of humanity.”
    Oct 01, 2012Booklist
    “Solomon . . . tackles daunting questions involving nature versus nurture, illness versus identity, and how they all affect parenting in his exploration of what happens when children bear little resemblance to their parents. . . . Solomon focuses on the creative and often desperate ways in which families manage to tear down prejudices and preconceived fears and reassemble their lives around the life of a child who alters their view of the world. The truth Solomon writes about here is as poignant as it is implacable, and he leaves us with a reinvented notion of identity and individual value.”