Far From The Tree

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0120130225

Growing up gay and dyslexic led Andrew Solomon to reflect on the 'outsider' child.

The time-worn adage says that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, meaning that a child resembles his or her parents. The children described in this book are apples that have fallen elsewhere - some a couple of orchards away, some on the other side of the world. Yet myriad families learn to tolerate, accept and finally celebrate children who are not what they originally had in mind.

Andrew Solomon introduces us to families coping with deafness, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, and disability - as well as families who have children who are prodigies, who are gay, or who become criminals.

While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, Solomon documents the repeated triumphs of human love and compassion to show that the shared experience of difference is what unites us.

Episode 1 (of 5):

Growing up gay and also struggling with dyslexia led Andrew Solomon to reflect on those situations where a child arrives in a family and is immediately an 'outsider'. 'Parenthood,' he writes, 'abruptly catapults us into a permanent relationship with a stranger'.

Read by Kerry Shale

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

0220130226

For a large proportion of deaf people, it is both a culture and identity worth celebrating

The time-worn adage says that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, meaning that a child resembles his or her parents. The children described in this book are apples that have fallen elsewhere - some a couple of orchards away, some on the other side of the world. Yet myriad families learn to tolerate, accept and finally celebrate children who are not what they originally had in mind.

Andrew Solomon introduces us to families coping with deafness, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, and disability - as well as families who have children who are prodigies, who are gay, or who become criminals.

While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, Solomon documents the repeated triumphs of human love and compassion to show that the shared experience of difference is what unites us.

Episode 2 (of 5):

Many hearing people regard being deaf as a defect or a pathology but, for a large proportion of people who are deaf, it is both a culture and an identity worth celebrating and defending.

Read by Kerry Shale

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

0320130227

The time-worn adage says that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, meaning that a child resembles his or her parents. The children described in this book are apples that have fallen elsewhere - some a couple of orchards away, some on the other side of the world. Yet myriad families learn to tolerate, accept and finally celebrate children who are not what they originally had in mind.

Andrew Solomon introduces us to families coping with deafness, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, and disability - as well as families who have children who are prodigies, who are gay, or who become criminals.

While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, Solomon documents the repeated triumphs of human love and compassion to show that the shared experience of difference is what unites us.

Episode 3 (of 5):

A child of exceptional ability, such as a musical prodigy, can present as many special needs and challenges to his parents as a child who has disabilities or is different in some other way. The tensions between these children and their parents can create extraordinary pressures and dilemmas.

Read by Kerry Shale

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

A child of exceptional ability can present as many challenges to parents as any disability

0420130228

The time-worn adage says that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, meaning that a child resembles his or her parents. The children described in this book are apples that have fallen elsewhere - some a couple of orchards away, some on the other side of the world. Yet myriad families learn to tolerate, accept and finally celebrate children who are not what they originally had in mind.

Andrew Solomon introduces us to families coping with deafness, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, and disability - as well as families who have children who are prodigies, who are gay, or who become criminals.

While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, Solomon documents the repeated triumphs of human love and compassion to show that the shared experience of difference is what unites us.

Episode 4 (of 5):

What happens to an apparently ordinary family when a child commits acts of extreme criminal behaviour? Dylan Klebold was one of the two teenagers responsible for the shootings at Columbine High School. His parents still live in the house where he grew up.

Read by Kerry Shale

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

What happens to an ordinary family when a child commits extreme criminal behaviour?

05 LAST20130301

Different kinds of families are constructed or conceived in different ways.

The time-worn adage says that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, meaning that a child resembles his or her parents. The children described in this book are apples that have fallen elsewhere - some a couple of orchards away, some on the other side of the world. Yet myriad families learn to tolerate, accept and finally celebrate children who are not what they originally had in mind.

Andrew Solomon introduces us to families coping with deafness, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, and disability - as well as families who have children who are prodigies, who are gay, or who become criminals.

While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, Solomon documents the repeated triumphs of human love and compassion to show that the shared experience of difference is what unites us.

Episode 5 (of 5):

Different kinds of families are constructed or conceived in different ways - just as some children choose to identify with a gender other than the one they were born into. Andrew Solomon is married to his partner John and they are happily involved in the parenting of four children, all with differing family circumstances.

Read by Kerry Shale

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.