Rachel Rose (Vancouver)
“In Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, Andrew Solomon’s quest is to explore those traits, whether acquired or inherent, that separate parents from children. In chapters such as “Deaf,” “Dwarf,” “Autism,” “Rape,” and “Prodigies,” Solomon delves deep into the schisms that arise when parents and children are divided by horizontal identity differences (such as when heterosexual parents have a queer child; he calls deaf parents with a deaf child, for instance, a vertical identity).
“These are fascinating explorations for any reader, but particularly resonant for queers, who have all navigated such divisions within their families of origin. Solomon, a gay parent himself, confronts the deep moral and philosophical questions every parent must face when dealing with the trials of raising children radically different from themselves, and documents how their own humanity is challenged and sometimes profoundly enriched in the process.
“Solomon shows how identity is forged, and how activists within groups push for specific disability or difference to become culturally accepted as an identity.
“I am filled with admiration for this book, for the way Solomon has expanded my thinking about identity, disability and family, and for the parents who respond with courage, activism and love to children they never would have chosen.”
Rachel Rose is Vancouver’s current Poet Laureate. Her most recent book, Song & Spectacle, won the Audre Lorde Poetry Award in the US and the Pat Lowther Award in Canada. She’s working on “a memoir about riding along with the police dog services unit of the RCMP in a quest for courage.”