Extraordinary children often lead difficult lives when they are so different that they are unable to feel accepted by society. As they grow older, their differences tend to define them and become cornerstones of their identities. Andrew Solomon, the gay son of heterosexual parents, learned this through personal experience and has now authored a book, “Far From the Tree,” about the parent-child dynamic of different kinds of exceptional children and the prejudices they face.
In addition to telling his own story, Solomon explores and illustrates the life experiences of children with dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, severe disabilities, and others. The author strives to expand society’s understanding of the relationship between identity and illness and its definition of the human family in order to increase tolerance. Solomon proposes that diversity brings families closer together and ultimately unites us all.
Andrew Solomon, author, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (Scribner)