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Andrew Solomon’s celebrated new study “Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity” examines  parents of exceptional children — from those who are deaf, mentally ill, or physically disabled to the child prodigies who play Bach as toddlers. Solomon interviewed over 300 families to understand the extraordinary challenges of raising children whose talents and deficits make them unique.
“Far from the Tree” is a humane and fascinating account of human difference, prejudice, and courage, and raises important cultural and policy questions including: How do medical systems define illness? Do we overmedicalize abnormality? What are the unintended consequences of designating someone “disabled”? How do our current educational and health systems limit or optimize individual opportunities by forcing people into approved diagnostic categories?
Books will be available for purchase following this AEI discussion.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.


5:15 PM

5:30 PM
Sally Satel, AEI
Andrew Solomon, Writer and Lecturer

6:00 PM
Question and Answer Session

6:30 PM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Elizabeth DeMeo at [email protected], 202.862.4876.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Sally Satel is a resident scholar at AEI, a practicing psychiatrist, and a lecturer at the Yale University School of Medicine. She examines mental health policy and political trends in medicine in her work. Her publications include “PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine” (Basic Books, 2001), “The Health Disparities Myth” (AEI Press, 2006), “When Altruism Isn’t Enough: The Case for Compensating Organ Donors” (AEI Press, 2009), and “One Nation under Therapy” (St. Martin’s Press, 2005), which was coauthored with Christina Hoff Sommers. She is currently completing a book on neuroscience and society, to be released in spring of 2013.

Andrew Solomon is a writer and lecturer on politics, culture, and psychology. Solomon’s newest book, “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity” (Scribner, 2012) tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children, but also find profound meaning in doing so. Solomon’s last book, “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression” (Scribner, 2001), won the 2001 National Book Award for Nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, and was included in The Times of London’s list of 100 best books of the decade.  Solomon has lectured widely on depression, including at Princeton University, Yale University, Stanford University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge University, and the Library of Congress.  He is a lecturer in psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College; a director of the University of Michigan Depression Center, Columbia Psychiatry, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; a member of the board of visitors of Columbia Medical School, and the advisory boards of the Mental Health Policy Forum at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Additionally, Solomon serves on the boards of the Alliance for the Arts, the World Monuments Fund, and the Alex Fund, which supports the education of Romani children.  He is a member of the chairman’s council of the Metropolitan Museum, the library council of the New York Public Library, the corporation of Yaddo, and the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  He is also a fellow of Berkeley College at Yale University, and a member of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Council on Foreign Relations.

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