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We talk to writer Andrew Solomon about children who are born different and the parents who love them.

Andrew Solomon. (Photo by Annie Leibovitz)
Andrew Solomon. (Photo by Annie Leibovitz)

There is no such thing as reproduction, says writer Andrew Solomon.  By which he means we do not create carbon copies of our selves.  And some parents – no small number – produce children very different from themselves.

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.

This hour, On Point:  children who are born different, and the parents who love them.
-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Andrew Solomon, author of the new book Far From The Tree.

From Tom's Reading List

The New Yorker "The secret history of sex is not a story of fulfilled desires; it’s a story of expectations dropped off the cliff of the unknown. Coupling reroutes lives, and delimits them, and when the stork turns up bearing a charming bundle the chances for complication grow alarmingly profuse."

NBC News "Clinton was in an incubator when Cheryl finally saw him, and she was allowed only to touch his toe, but when she did, his eyes opened and she saw that they were blue and beautiful. She also saw everything she would come to know as signposts of diastrophic dwarfism: the unjointed hitchhiker thumb that springs from the bottom of the palm, the flat nose, the cauliflower ears, and the cleft palate."

The New York Times "The sprawling contents of “Far From the Tree” are difficult to summarize; indeed, Mr. Solomon has required nearly 1,000 pages, back matter included, to deliver his points. He has interviewed more than 300 families. He has shoehorned what might have been 10 or 12 books into one. His winding volume sometimes tried my patience, but my respect for it rarely wavered."

Video

Check out this trailer for the book.

* FAR FROM THE TREE - book trailer * from Nick Davis on Vimeo.

Excerpt

This program aired on November 15, 2012.

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