"Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity" (Encore presentation.)
Today we listen back to fascinating discussion that first aired on ST in November. At that time, our guest was the author and journalist Andrew Solomon, whose hefty, far-reaching, and award-winning book, "Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity," had just appeared in paperback. As was noted of this volume a couple of years ago, when it was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month: "Anyone who's ever said (or heard, or thought) the adage 'chip off the old block' might burrow into Andrew Solomon's tome about the ways in which children are different from their parents --- and what such differences do to our conventional ideas about family. Ruminative, personal, and reportorial all at once, Solomon --- who won a National Book Award for his treatise on depression, 'The Noonday Demon' --- begins by describing his own experience as the gay son of heterosexual parents, then goes on to investigate the worlds of deaf children of hearing parents, dwarves born into 'normal' families, and so on. His observations and conclusions are complex and not easily summarized, with one exception: The chapter on children of law-abiding parents who become criminals. Solomon rightly points out that this is a very different situation indeed: 'To be or produce a schizophrenic...is generally deemed a misfortune,' he writes. 'To...produce a criminal is often deemed a failure.' Still, parents must cope with or not, accept or not, the deeds or behaviors or syndromes of their offspring. How they do or do not do that makes for fascinating and disturbing reading." You can learn more about this interview, and can access a free, on-demand, 24/7 stream of our chat with Mr. Solomon, at this link.