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Andrew Solomon 

When: Thu., Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m. 2012
Price: free

As a gay child born to straight parents, Andrew Solomon understood early on that the old adage doesn't always apply: The apple can fall pretty far from the tree, and the fallout can be difficult. While reporting on the explosion of deaf pride celebrations in the 1990s, Solomon began interviewing families -- more than three hundred of them -- who were dealing with extreme challenges: children who had dwarfism, Down syndrome, and severe disabilities; who identified as transgender; and who were conceived from rape. He concluded that, even though these issues tend to isolate the child, the process of dealing with these differences transcends all other boundaries and, eventually, love triumphs. The families developed a special closeness, formed supportive communities, became activists, and faced their fears head-on. And, in turn, the families helped Solomon come to terms with his own identity and his decision to become a parent. Winner of the 2001 National Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a New York Timesbestselling author, Solomon will talk about his new book, Far From the Tree, which recounts his personal journey and what he learned over the course of ten years of familial research. On Thursday, Nov. 29,at The Hillside Club (2286 Cedar St., Berkeley). 7:30 p.m.,$12 in advance, $7 (for students and members), $15 at the door. 510-848-3227 or HillsideClub.org

— Alison Peters

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