The Ties That Bind
FAR FROM THE TREE:
Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity.
By Andrew Solomon.
Scribner. 962 pp. $37.50
“Depression is the flaw in love,” wrote Andrew Solomon in The Noonday Demon, his exploration of the disease that won the National Book Award in 2001. “To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose.” Depression was a scourge he had experienced personally, and the book he produced was intimate yet clinical: Solomon claims that he can veer into self-pity, but it’s not a thing he indulges in on the page. Far From the Tree, the book he has spent the last decade working on, addresses another vast subject, one that isn’t discussed as often as the dark caul of depression. This is a book about families in which a child is flawed—at least in the eyes of much of the world. In it, Solomon expounds on what has turned out to be his great and enduring theme: love and its costs.
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Sarah L. Courteau is literary editor of The Wilson Quarterly.more from this author >>