- Copertina rigida: 962 pagine
- Editore: Scribner (13 novembre 2012)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0743236718
- ISBN-13: 978-0743236713
- Peso di spedizione: 1,4 Kg
- Media recensioni: 3.5 su 5 stelle Visualizza tutte le recensioni (2 recensioni clienti)
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon:
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity (Inglese) Copertina rigida – 13 nov 2012
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Principali recensioni dei clienti
300 interviews for 10 different 'conditions' this is not a significant sample size. The book contains some interesting knowledge but is hidden by a rather unedited writing style, and the mix of other people with personal opinions of the author, can't recommend it , and don't know what the criteria of the 10 different mainly American foundations which gave him prizes for this books where. Would be interesting to know if this are self-promoting institutions.
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That chapter was so good, I moved to the crime chapter and stayed up way too late because I could not put it down. Thank you, Mr. Solomon for pointing out the absurdities in our justice system when it comes to dealing with juvenile crime. (And as for the reviewer who questioned including crime at all, this book focuses on any possible way that a child can turn out different than their parents expected, and being guilty of a crime definitely seems appropriate to me.) I learned a lot from this chapter, and was particularly fascinated by the Klebolds' story. Once again, Soloman wrote with sensitivity about a very difficult and controversial topic.
From there I read the chapter on dwarfism, and then finally turned to the first pages of the book and started reading the beginning! I wanted to learn about how families deal with a diagnosis of autism; instead I learned about how families deal with all kinds of unexpected outcomes, how resilient parents can be when faced with hardships, and how connected are the identities of parents and their children. As a parent, I understand the constant struggle to balance who we want our children to be and who they actually are. "There is no such thing as reproduction" may be my new mantra.
One more thing: in 700 pages (okay, I admit, I didn't read the Acknowledgments) I never found an example of "martyrdom" that one reviewer complained about. The book relates honest responses from parents in the trenches. Parenting isn't always fun, even for parents of kids who have no extra challenges. But Far From the Tree isn't a chronicle of long-suffering devastated parents; there are plenty of positive, hopeful, make-the-best-of-it moments as well.
It's a fascinating book for anyone interested in parenting, psychology, or the history of disability. Highly recommended.
This is the question posed by award-winning writer Andrew Solomon in "Far From The Tree." How do parents deal with raising a child who isn't what they expected him or her to be? What if the child is autistic? Deaf? Has Down Syndrome? And how much does nurture have to do with the people our children become? Or is it more due to nature?
Solomon began writing this book twelve years ago, after attending a protest of deaf students who opened his eyes to seeing people with `differences' as not having disabilities, but having their own unique gifts. He follows the lives of many families who are faced with the challenge of raising children who are profoundly different than they expected them to be. Each of these stories reveals in their own way the nature of humanity, the unconditional love of parents for their children, and the desire for all humans to be valued as individuals.
Solomon also shines a spotlight on his own upbringing. The gay son of heterosexual parents, who was also dyslexic and bullied for not conforming to the stereotypical expectations of what a typical male should be, Solomon reveals how he overcame his insecurities to not only accept himself, but to decide to become a father.
The book offers a world of information on particular conditions; it ponders the wider implications of choice and identity for both the parents and the children dealing with dwarfism, deafness, criminality, etc. And just as learning you are not alone with a special gift or disability can be liberating for an individual person, so learning that other families are dealing with the same conditions can give heart to parents who feel isolated. Moreover, those who have had to focus on one particular condition will be led to see wider commonalities. All of us know someone who is profoundly different from their parents. And because Mr. Solomon brings coherence to the book by thinking across conditions, he implicitly opens the way for thinking about analogous conditions not specifically covered.
What is most deeply moving is Mr. Solomon's ability to portray each individual as a unique person. The book is full of voices and stories, a reminder that we are all always surrounded by people who are like us, different from us, and challenged in ways we've never thought of before. Together, they are sobering reminders of how deep the pain of the human condition can be, but also sources of inspiration and hope.
Mr. Solomon is never dogmatic. He has opinions, but he also makes clear that no formulaic rules apply to the choices parents and children must make because every circumstance is different and every person is a unique combination of his or her own abilities and values. If the book urges anything, it is to love and see the power of human compassion, understanding, and hope.
Solomon's research is solid and thorough and generally avoids the kind of "professionalese" that can sometimes infect scholastic writing of this nature. He has combined discussion of current scientific literature with extensive personal stories of families, and his accounts of these situations shows a real care for the people he has interviewed and spent hours and days and weeks with.
Solomon has included some situations many of us may not want to acknowledge or that may not even have crossed our radar as being problems for parents. We see stories of conventions of dwarfs or see a video clip of a child prodigy or read a news account of a juvenile crime spree or have our heartstrings tugged by Facebook entries about a Downs child named prom king, and we may not think of the parental struggles behind each of these diverse situations. Almost a dozen different challenges are presented chapter by chapter, giving us an opportunity to better understand how situations that are "not normal" tax even the most caring parents.
Each chapter stands almost alone in the coverage of a challenging parenting issue. If you don't have time to read over 700 pages (and reference almost 200 additional pages of notes and bibliography), you could zero in on just one or a few situations that you would like to learn more about.
The length of the book alone will be a problem for many, as this is not something to be skimmed over lightly. I read this as a hard copy and wonder whether the size of the text would work very well as an e-book, especially given my frequent referencing of notes and use of the index to go back to concepts and names mentioned earlier.
In his last chapter, Solomon notes "When broadmindedness blinds us to our offspring's needs, our love becomes denial," yet there are many places where it seems like an earnest and probably well-meaning effort at being broadminded and accepting of every difference noted has sometimes not been in the ultimate best interest of the children featured. While many readers may disagree with me, I am more than a little concerned that some of the family stories included may fall into what one "trans-friendly therapist" said: "Parents tell me often, and it's sort of Pzc, that they are following their child's lead." And though Solomon follows this quote with "If your child is seven, you probably don't let them choose what they're going to eat for dinner, let alone if they're going to transition to a new gender." However, Solomon generally seems most supportive of this child-leading-the-parent style, even when it may not be best for the child's long term development.
Finally, the beginning and end of the book (which, as many earlier reviewers have illustrated with their comments) contain Solomon's personal family story, both his relationships with his own parents and with his partner and very 21st century family structure. While this is every writer's privilege (and duty?), his own struggles seemed to be projected onto some of the stories in other chapters, creating a less objective look at the overall picture.
If you decide to read the book--and you should--don't just read the first chapter. But if you don't have time to read all of the text, read the first and last chapters along with those sections that are most relevant to you to get the appropriate context...and then come back later to the unread portions. I think you will be glad you did.
I am glad that Solomon expands and questions the standard perceptions of those individuals considered far from the norm - whatever normal is ( and the author questions assumptions about that as well).
As a gay man who also is dyslexic, Solomon also shares his own struggles and search for identity, some of which are similar to the children and adults in the book. His honest, vivid, and detailed recollections add an extra richness and added perspective to his research and interviews. He notes that "my parents had misapprehended who I was' and he concludes that "other parents must be constantly misapprehending their own children" . They may even see their child's challenges as an "affront."
Far From the Tree is one of the best books I've read this year, encompassing a host of questions about how we perceive those who we consider different and even frightening. It is inspiring to read that of the strong love some parents feel for children others may so easily dismiss, a love that may even surprise them.
One example: a mother has a daughter who is a dwarf and wonders how to help her daughter forge her unique identity. How much should she try to get her daughter to be like everyone else (only shorter)? Should she strive to ensure that her daughter has dwarf role models and mentors? Readers - as I did - are likely to ponder these questions and wonder what answers they'd choose.
Solomon describes how raising children so different from themselves can humble parents, bring them to their knees, cause despair - or enrich their lives in ways they never imagined. Reading of their experiences, I was forced to question my own assumptions and biases about the word "disabled" and how far I'd go to help my child blend in - or simply accept and even celebrate his differences.
Far From the Tree tackles issues which are likely to be considered controversial but are so worth exploring. Should deaf children be urged to participate in the hearing world or should parents accept that they can benefit from being primarily members of a community of other deaf people Is deafness truly a disability or are there benefits as well? Of course, I can't help thinking of the Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, a man with two prosthetic legs who was ranked among the top racers in the world. He was named one of hundred most influential people in the world by Time magazine. How many did he inspire? Solomon mentions him in the book.
Potential readers should know that this book is far from an easy read. The main body of Far from the Tree is 702 pages and the Acknowledgments, Notes, Bibliography, and Index are an additional 200 pages long. Still, it is a book which is worth the time, one likely to change your perspective on how you see those individuals who sometimes are shoved to the margins of our society.
As Solomon confesses, "Sometimes, I had thought the heroic parents in this book were fools, enslaving themselves to a life with their alien children...." He is surprised to discover that "my research had built me a plank, and that I was ready to join them on their ship. " I was so glad I got to be along for the ride.