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Audio: Books & Beats Reviews ‘Far & Away’

Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change. New York: Scribner, April 2016.

Books & Beats host Betsy Burton reviews Andrew Solomon’s new book, Far & Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change.

Journalist, art critic, searcher, researcher, psychologist and inveterate traveller Andrew Solomon, in Far & Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change: Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years, shows himself yet again to be possessed of an ability to be at once far-reaching and intensely personal in his perceptions and observations. The book’s first section is a brilliant essay on, on the one hand, the initial stirring of his life-long need for travel during his boyhood, and, on the other hand, how change occurs — the historical, cultural and geographic differences that make change as unpredictable as it is inevitable, as personal, as political… Whether through the mediums of art, genocide, depression, family, climate, or ritual, he gets to the roots of change across cultures. As empathetic as he is knowledgeable, his proclivity for the overview ever tempered by the personal, he gives us a startling and insightful view of change-in-the-making over the years, while ever reminding us of our common humanity. As Far & Away again makes clear, Solomon is far and away the most original thinker of our time.