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Mint: Q&A with Andrew Solomon

Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (Scribner 2012)

by Veena Venugopal

Dressed in a white shirt and a pair of cherry-red jeans, Andrew Solomon was quite a star at the Jaipur Literature Festival this year. Solomon’s latest book, Far From the Tree: A Dozen Kinds of Love, explores some unusual stories of parenthood. We met right after a panel discussion on queer literature where about 700 people had crammed in. Every couple of minutes or so during our chat, we were interrupted by people who sought him out for advice. Our friend is gay and he doesn’t know how to tell his parents, a couple of college-going girls asked him. They were followed by an elderly lady who said she had recently received a call from her son in Australia telling her he was homosexual. “Will he ever be happy?” she sobbed. Then came a man with an autistic son, trailed by a lady whose sister was blind. They trooped in baring these private traumas in a very public place. Solomon responded patiently, in a tone more suited to a therapist than a journalist. And in the brief interludes when he was left alone, he answered some questions.

(To read the full interview, please visit the Mint website.)