Andrew Solomon, award-winning author and lecturer, will give a presentation based on his book “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity” at 7 p.m. Monday in the Bone Student Center, Brown Ballroom.
The event is part of the Speaker Series and is free and open to the public.
When it was published in 2012, “Far From the Tree” won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was chosen as one of the New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2012.
Within the text, Solomon argues that human differences such as deafness, dwarfism, autism and stigmas such as being transgender, prodigies or conceived in rape can feel isolating, are ultimately the uniting factors between humans.
He stresses that the “experience of difference” within families is universal and should be celebrated.
Rachel Hatch, coordinator of media relations, said ISU is bringing Solomon to campus because of his unique outlook on diversity.
“Diversity is one of our core missions. We like that someone can celebrate that diversity in a different way, not just talking about one group, but all groups who might be recognized as underrepresented … Really celebrating what people can do when they work together,” she said.
Solomon is currently a lecturer in psychiatry at Cornell University and is a special advisor of LGBT affairs (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) at Yale University.
He is also an activist for LGBT rights, mental health, education and the arts. He is founder of the Solomon Research Fellowships in LGBT studies at Yale and is a member of the board of directors of Trans Youth Family Allies.
Hatch said students should be particularly interested in Solomon’s discourse because of its relevance to their everyday lives.
She said, “He doesn’t just talk about kids or family. He’s talking about issues people face when they feel isolated or different. That’s something that translates to all students. He’s the one who can inspire us to work together and overcome that.”
This event is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Sage Foundation Fun, the Fell Trust, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Division of Student Affairs.
For more information about Solomon and his works, visit www.andrewsolomon.com.