Last night at the National Book Critics Circle Awards Andrew Solomon won in non-fiction for his book Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity. Here’s the Fresh Air interview with Solomon about the book:
On how Karen Robards, whose son has Down syndrome, learned to cope
“And I said, ‘Look you’ve given your lives to this.’ I said, ‘Do wish you wish you’d never heard of Down syndrome? Do you wish you could make it go away?’ And his mother said, ‘You know for our son, David, I wish I could make it go away because for David, it’s a difficult way to be in the world. And I would do anything to make David’s life easier.’ She said, ‘But speaking for myself, while I would never have believed 30 years ago that I would get to such a point, speaking for myself it’s made me think so much more deeply and appreciate humanity so much more broadly and live so much more richly. That speaking for myself, I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world.’
Other winners include Robert Caro for The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Ben Fountain for his novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Leanne Shapton’s memoir Swimming Studies, poet D.A. Powell’s Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys, and Marina Warner’s Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights for criticism.