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Glenbard Parent Series Book Discussions

GPS: Glenbard Parent Series: Navigating Healthy Families

Thursday, April 6 from 7-8 pm

Join us at the library for a discussion of Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon, as part of the Glenbard Parent Series: Navigating Healthy Families.

Andrew Solomon appears at the College of DuPage McAninch Arts Center on Tuesday, April 11 at 7 pm as part of this series.

For more information on all GPS programming visit

Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
by Andrew Solomon

Check out Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon

Solomon 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 startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us all. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, as are the triumphs of love Solomon documents in every chapter.

All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on forty thousand pages of interview transcripts with more than three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges. Whether considering prenatal screening for genetic disorders, cochlear implants for the deaf, or gender reassignment surgery for transgender people, Solomon narrates a universal struggle toward compassion.

Many families grow closer through caring for a challenging child; most discover supportive communities of others similarly affected; some are inspired to become advocates and activists, celebrating the very conditions they once feared. Woven into their courageous and affirming stories is Solomon’s journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision, influenced by this research, to become a parent.

Far from the Tree explores themes of generosity, acceptance, and tolerance — all rooted in the insight that love can transcend every prejudice.