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Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity (Inglese) Copertina rigida – 13 nov 2012

3.5 su 5 stelle 2 recensioni clienti

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Dettagli prodotto

  • 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)
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Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
Truly a marvelous book. Andrew Solomon always gives you information you could never find anywhere else. Well written and researched. Cant wait for his next book!
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The idea to look into relationships between parents and children which are for some reason or another troubled by diseases, disabilities or other reasons and also the problems of the societies response to this is interesting and necessary. The execution is confusing. A) he mixed the wildest conditions-like being gay, a normal condition of life, with schizophrenia, crime, etc. B) He cites in some chapters endlessly other peoples books, I want to know his opinion and something he has thought up not what other people wrote, otherwise I would read their books. The approach is very unscientific and centred on American knowledge. The treatment of schizophrenia and the approach to autism for example is very different and seems to be more advanced in Europa. Also the gender sterotypes he runts about -pink =female, tomboy =male seems very American , I think also in this context, Europa is a lot more open and modern

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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Le recensioni clienti più utili su Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 su 5 stelle 739 recensioni
266 di 277 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Thoughtful and well-researched 21 novembre 2012
Di Greenbyoo - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Far From the Tree is a TOME. I mean, it's a great big, heavy book in every sense of the word. To be honest, I was a little intimidated when my copy arrived! I didn't read it cover to cover, but started with the autism chapter because it was relevant to our family. I found it to be a very well-researched, sensitive look at how autism can affect a parent's life, hopes, and perceptions.

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.
201 di 212 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle A Moving And Informative Book On Raising Children Different From Ourselves 14 novembre 2012
Di Jack - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina rigida
How do we raise children who are profoundly different than we are?
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.
114 di 125 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Everyone will be talking 15 novembre 2012
Di KK in Worcester - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina rigida
Everyone will be talking about this book and everyone should. Mr. Solomon's deeply personal narration and vivid story-telling combine with extensive factual scholarship to make compelling reading out of topics you might otherwise expect to find repugnant or marginal. Full disclosure: I read an early draft and have been waiting ever since for others to have this chance to expand their hearts by reading it, too.

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.
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Far from the Tree got amazing reviews and it grabbed me from the opening 6 marzo 2016
Di Peter Flom - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
Far from the Tree is a book by Andrew Solomon. It is subtitled "parents, children and the search for identity" and it will change the way you think about people, particularly people who are different.

The title comes from the phrase "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree", referring to the idea that children are not that dissimilar from their parents. But some children are quite dissimilar from their parents and this book is about some of them. Far from the Tree got amazing reviews and it grabbed me from the opening:

There is no such thing as reproduction. When two people decide to have a baby, they engage in an act of production, and the widespread use of the word reproduction for this activity, with its implication that two people are but braiding themselves together, is at best a euphemism to comfort prospective parents before they get in over their heads

The first chapter is titled "Son" and the last is "Father". Each of the others is about a particular kind of difference:

Down Syndrome
Rape (which is about children whose mothers were raped)

Each chapter mixes personal stories of parents and children that fit the chapter's title with more general information about the condition and, in most cases, communities that have sprung up around each condition. The only thing that all these conditions have in common is that the child is, in some way, far from the tree (at least in most cases - some of these conditions do have a genetic component).

I don't agree with all that Solomon says; you probably won't either. But that is not the point. This is not a polemic designed to change your opinion in a certain direction, rather, it is a book to open your eyes to things you might not have seen before. It is a book about the nature of humanity. Far from the Tree changed the way I think about people and I daresay it will change the way you think, as well.

Andrew Solomon is a writer and lecturer on psychology, politics and the arts. He is a winner of the National Book Award and an activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. He is also the author of The Noonday Demon which is about depression.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle But Yet Although However 28 febbraio 2016
Di Cabin Dweller - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
This book is a huge undertaking, a coalescence of many introspective years of reflection by the author as well as what he says is 500 different family Case Studies, an emotional roller-coaster of Hollywood proportions rooted in morbid reality of eternal otherness. I came to this book after hearing Andrew Solomon say a rape survivor feels pity for the father of her child, a child who went on to have children. The pity is that the rapist did not know his beautiful family. The same interview discussed a Columbine parent. As a person who cries over dead puppies 5 years after their death, which I did yesterday, and as a man in touch with his feminine side after all these years, still listening (yesterday) to Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, and Neko Case while getting drunk in the basement, I've got to make myself clear: this book does not end well! This book's conclusion does not do anything more than hijack the compassion and the intellect that makes for open and progressive societies and flip them into that society's own self-destruction. Emotional depth, sympathy, open-mindedness, tolerance, and fair mindedness is where this book began. Eventually, however, the limousine liberalness comes all the way out as the author writes the testimony of his parental plight, a set of dizzying stories that reaffirms that activists are malcontents who ask for redress but as malcontents function on malcontented-ness. There's that word again: identity. And we can't take away a person's identity if that means fixing his problems.

The first chapter, "Son,' is really a prologue. I liked it. The same way I enjoyed an Elton John concert in 1998 while people outside the Oakland Coliseum held signs that denigrated homosexuals, I enjoyed hearing about the child as victim. I was a child once too, and dreamed of becoming an athlete I never became. I would also consider myself and other reasonably intelligent children as victims of sexuality. This was very relate-able and struck a balance of narrative and reflection, first person and third person, and intellect and emotion. There is a line in a Pete Dexter novel I once read, a line a character says how the world would be a better place without sexual impulse.

The second chapter, "Deaf," introduces us to Solomon's giant capacity for research. I would never have bought the book if it were about deafness. This chapter feels like a warm-up to juicier chapters to come. Solomon sounds like an old-fashioned heterosexual dad from 50's TV when he calls advocates out for their foolish notion of deaf genocide. Anyone can see that stubborn parents who refuse Sign or implants are sticking to an untenable emotional high horse.

The third chapter, "Dwarfs," teaches there isn't supposed to be a difference between dwarfs and midgets, when that's not the case. Midget is supposed to be derogatory and ignorant, and dwarf is acceptable, but there is an obvious measurable difference between small people and people with normal sized heads but relatively tiny limbs and especially legs. Extended limb-lengthening or ELL is the Dwarf chapter's version of "deaf genocide". These are expensive, very elaborate surgeries discussed on page 161, for example, that "boosts self-esteem". It's "cosmetic and functional". Pain, debt, and a bunch of metal screws. At this point the book is discussing children that are outcasts among children, and there is no limit to the amount of empathy I have as a reader of such children who, like myself, didn't ask to be born.

"Down syndrome" is where the book really hits its stride, which will last for several chapters. Here is a chapter about a defect that is evident physically and mentally. "Welcome to Holland" is introduced and, as poignant as it is, another parent later paraphrases its sentiment with a welcome to some other place much less enjoyable than Holland. The concept of "amniocentesis" is introduced and foreshadows many chapters, as well as outlining the binary structure of a book that explodes the concept of binary structure; parents who want to know the unborn's health and parents who take pro-life to higher level. Starting with Chapter 3, this book is a referendum on people's ethical and moral's DNA, but with Solomon very professionally reporting without judgement. Chapter 3 is filled with delightful examples of children bringing out the best in their parents, all the more striking because this is the "mongoloid idiots" chapter. Since John Langdon Down coined this term, I wonder why his name is still attached to people whose condition is so easily traced to good-hearted optimism.

On to the scary chapters of "Autism" and "Schizophrenia". There is a sick fascination with the second of these as well as a healthy one. Schizophrenics come back to socially normal for brief periods. I respect Solomon's even-handed candor once again when he says, "Michel Foucault mounted a systematic assault on the idea that insanity was anything more than a power play by self-declared sane people. Erving Goffman maintained that mental hospitals made people crazy." I have to ask myself why a professor from grad school discussed Foucault as some sort of academic beacon. Everybody should read these chapters, and note the emphasis on feces. Like "Down Syndrome," the "Disability" chapter allows for people who read to stop when they see an affected child, consider how their hands can help, analyze the value of a smile, and weigh whether or not the parent will appreciate the "stop, hands, smile" reflection or be humiliated by it.

The point I would like to make about the "Prodigies" chapter does affect the presentation of the book as a whole. Without affecting all of the chapters or devaluing the best ones, my observation is that Solomon is highly selective in a book that underscores inclusion. How? Why does a chapter about child prodigies eliminate sports, math, and chess? Why does it only cover music, and in only covering music cover classical music, and in only covering classical music cover piano. Not to mention, most of the children he discusses are Asian. Talk about judging a book by its cover. Solomon insists on 19th century sensibility here, writing in the process only what he wants to write and discussing only those he thrills to discuss. This throws the synergy of the book far out of whack. I can now assume that Solomon picks and chooses those who fit a stereotype and disregards the rest. Very exclusive and dare I say very bigoted and disappointing.

In chapter X, a miracle happens. All of the financially situated Volvo drivers who can afford to move their children around and keep their IBM jobs and exceptional children as equally high priorities, priorities higher, incidentally, than staying married, disappear. Once the "Crime" Chapter begins, the book is in its unofficial Part II. What do poor people in trailer parks who interview in bad grammar do when their children become outsize problems? Anybody who did not know better would think that only rich yuppies had children with Down, Autism, grand pianos, and schizophrenia. Anybody who did not know better would think that only po folk got kids breaking violent crime laws. Just as "Prodigies" was dedicated mostly to Asian children, this, like the "Rape" chapter, is a black chapter. If the facts bear this out, write about it. But he goes color blind as soon as he discusses juvenile court in Chicago. On page 586, you experience one of Solomon's infrequent but bold brain freezes: "A peculiar arrogance accrues to people who cannot recognize the diversity of human impulses, and who feel superior because they do not lapse into behaviors that don't tempt them in the first place. People disgusted by sexual predators say smugly that they don't pursue the sexual favors of children, without acknowledging that they don't find children sexually attractive." I can only surmise by this sequence being left in the book that the editor at Scribner has humanity for child rapists, not judgment. I have heard of blaming women for being raped but I have never, ever heard of blaming children.

Sue Klebold's section begins on page 587. It is not satisfying to read, just as I am sure it was not satisfying to write.

As for the final 2 chapters, a long one on Transgender and a short one on Solomon's own fatherhood, I have one non-bigoted point to make about Transgenders first: when 1 person has 2 names, and several Case Studies are involved, it becomes twice as difficult to remember who you were reading about. Some of these examples have 3 names, because with more of that even-handed candor, Solomon admits that transgender is often a fad for rebellious people who can't tell their age from their identity.

Apologizing for sex offenders who prey upon children reduced this book from 5 stars to 3. The "Father" chapter reduces it further, so if you have bothered to read this whole review, think of this as a 2 star book that is bent on what I began this review with. Beware of rich people who think of family structure like they think of online shopping catalogs. Beware of depressed people with no real friends who can mention pregnancy to a friend at a dinner party and not get a "NO!" slapped across their face. Successful people with disposable income who have fought their demons and overcome self-hate but who then wind up with a feeling of emptiness even after stocking their wine cabinet and finding good help to keep the dustmites to a minimum are not who we should be taking social advice from. This can be taken from the birth of little Blaine on page 691, a warm and fuzzy paragraph that gets pushed aside like some lab rat experiment at quitting time. Andrew Solomon has mixed his research with his life, sort of like mixing business with pleasure, and definitely like writing about yourself as another person. The detachment is unnerving. The drama of George's brain is then put on the following pages, and it is clear to me that Solomon thinks of children, after all of this, as people he can "love" just because he can prove he tolerates them.