Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Noonday Demon
examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policy makers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Andrew Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease.
He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has on various demographic populations -- around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness. With uncommon humanity, candor, wit, and erudition, award-winning author Solomon takes readers on a journey of incom-parable range and resonance into the most pervasive of family secrets. His contribution to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition is truly stunning.
Christine Whitehouse Time The book for a generation...Solomon interweaves a personal narrative with scientific, philosophical, historical, political, and cultural insights...The result is an elegantly written, meticulously researched book that is empathetic and enlightening, scholarly and useful...Solomon apologizes that "no book can span the reach of human suffering." This one comes close.
Richard Bernstein The New York Times All encompassing, brave, and deeply humane...It is open-minded, critically informed, and poetic at the same time, and despite the nature of its subject it is written with far too much élan and elegance ever to become depressing itself.
Gail Caldwell The Boston Globe Both heartrending and fascinating...the book has a scope and passionate intelligence that give it intrigue as well as heft.
With uncommon humanity, candor, wit, and erudition, award-winning author Solomon conducts a definitive narrative of incomparable range and resonance on his family secret of mental illness. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, the author reveals as never before the complexities of the disease.
About the Author
Andrew Solomon is a professor of psychology at Columbia University, president of PEN American Center, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, NPR, and The New York Times Magazine. A lecturer and activist, he is the author of Far and Away: Essays from the Brink of Change: Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years; the National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, which has won thirty additional national awards; and The Noonday Demon; An Atlas of Depression, which won the 2001 National Book Award, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and has been published in twenty-four languages. He has also written a novel, A Stone Boat, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award and The Irony Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost. His TED talks have been viewed over ten million times. He lives in New York and London and is a dual national. For more information, visit the author’s website at AndrewSolomon.com.
Table of Contents
A Note on Method