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Parents with a Difference: A Playdate with “Far from the Tree” author Andrew Solomon

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

by Katie Roiphe

As the writer Andrew Solomon, his husband, John Habich, and their three-year-old son George descend the stone steps, they bring a burst of colour to the dark grey underworld of the New York Transit Museum: John in brilliant red corduroys, George in an orange-striped shirt, Andrew in a bright-blue striped shirt and scarlet socks.

I have brought along my son, Leo. Being three, the boys don’t really talk to each other, they run. There are antique buses to drive, models of the third rail to electrify, subways to bounce around.

Solomon has just published his spectacularly successful book Far from the Tree, which chronicles the stories of children who, for various reasons, are extremely different from their parents. … The book is an epic inquiry into the farthest reaches of parenthood, so I thought it would be interesting to meet while, well, parenting. It’s a situation almost comically unconducive to conversation and yet somehow we manage to fling a few words at each other as we dart after the boys. The two of them clamber up into the driver’s seat of a square blue bus from the 1970s. It looks charmingly retro now, though these are the same buses that passed through the posh streets of the Upper East Side when Solomon was growing up.

(To read the full article, please visit The Financial Times.)