But with Progeny, It's Hodge-podgenee


  • Dena S. Davis

  • Far from the Tree. By Andrew Solomon. Scribner, 2012. 976 pages. Paperback. $21.50.


In some sense, and perhaps this is the hallmark of the modern era, all families cope with competing identities. Children may choose high-demand careers, such as the priesthood or the military, that may well make them seem like strangers to their parents, speaking almost a different language and embracing values and loyalties unknown at home. Grown children can convert to alien religions and live halfway across the world. Children of immigrants assimilate and may not even have a language in common with their grandparents. But in his book Far from the Tree, Solomon focuses on identities that are inborn, although not necessary genetic, so that, while the child is still “in the nest,” he or she is already somehow a changeling. As the title has it, sometimes the apple does fall “far from the tree.”.