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The Art of Looking


Andrew Solomon is an inveterate traveller. In his two most recent books, The Noonday Demon and Far from the Tree, he journeyed inward, in the first exploring the world of depression, from which he has suffered, in the second considering children who have surprised or disappointed their parents, as he did by being gay. These are both substantial works that required intense, far-reaching research. So it is a surprise to find that all the time he was writing them Mr Solomon was also travelling the world.

The 28 pieces gathered here are the fruits of 25 years of travel to 83 countries and all seven continents. He believes that engaging with different cultures is “the necessary remedy to our perilously frightened times.” So he is never a tourist, but instead aims for total immersion wherever he goes, winning the confidence of the people he meets, forging solid friendships.

(To read the full review, please visit The Economist.)