Download Epub Format µ Far & Away: Places on the Brink of Change: Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years PDF by ¶ Andrew Solomon Stories about the places the author went, some are interesting, some are kind of boring some have deep thoughts , some just shallow fun Here are a few quotes and notes I marked down when reading the book Three days in August Page 61 The artists found out long ago that the way to combat a government that presents lies as if they were the truth is to tell the truth as if it were joke An awakening after the Taliban There is a kind of joy that can be known only by people who have grieved deeply happiness is not only a quality of its own but also an effect of contrast Song of solomons Marovo lagoon, the world largest island enclosed lagoonMuseum without walls , Japan Benesse house on Naoshima islandCircle of fire letter from Libya Qaddafi is very happy to have corrupt people working for him, a Qaddafi insider said to me He I have been following Solomon s writing for years and find it increasingly compelling Curiously, many of the texts selected for this volume were written over two decades ago, yet his voice speaks to me as if he were across the table having coffee That s how relevant and prescient his observations were are Even so, it felt strangely current to be reading reflections in print form not a tweet on the terrorist attacks on the Bataclan last November.
The chapters on China, Taiwan, and the former USSR were less meaningful for me, perhaps because of my own lacunae in the politics, histories, and arts of these regions I don t fault Solomon s writing at all rather, I ve decided to explore these topics extratextually and return to the book once I do Think about it only the most skilled writers ever accomplish this I look forward to tackling another of his major works.
In Andrew Solomon Built Barricades And Faced Down Tanks In Moscow With A Band Of Russian Artists Protesting The Coup After Gorbachev S Resignation In He Was In Afghanistan Following The Fall Of The Taliban In He Travelled To Myanmar To Meet Ex Political Prisoners As The Country Slowly, Fitfully Pushed Towards Freedom We Find Him In Greenland In Researching Widespread Suffering From Depression And On The Quest For A Rare Bird In Zambia In Far And Away Tells These And Many Other Stories Of Profound Upheaval With His Signature Brilliance And Compassion, Solomon Demonstrates Both How History Is Altered By Individuals, And How Personal Identities Are Altered When Governments AlterA Journalist And Essayist Of Remarkable Perception And Prescience, Solomon Captures The Essence Of These Cultures Across Seven Continents And Twenty Five Years And Tracks Seismic Shifts Cultural, Political And Spiritual He Takes Us On A Magnificent Journey Into The Heart Of Extraordinarily Diverse Experiences, Yet Shows Us The Common Humanity Uniting Peoples And Places All Over The World Far and Away is a nice mixture of things it starts out with pieces about artists in Russia and China, for example, but there are also some pieces written for travel magazines which are about the travel and the places itself It deals with the astoundingly beautiful and the shockingly awful and Solomon can pull this off because his writing is just so good and captivating He doesn t romanticise or generalise and tries to approach everyone with interest and empathy, which is always a good starting point in my book.
The only thing this book misses is also what makes it so varied it s not very cohesive He talks about snorkeling in a divine location in one piece and meeting victims of rape during war in the other I really like the diversity of the topics but these large shifts in tone, topic and gravity could also make it a bit less appealing but I guess that s up to the individual r Excellent memoir based on journalism done in the 1990s and 2000s updated One of my favorite authors He blends his journeys through a variety of countries with observations of changes over time.
Far and Away is a collection of Andrew Solomon s remarkable articles about his worldwide travels over the past 25 years Although the articles report on these travel experiences, this is certainly not a light weight or trivial travelogue Rather, Solomon writes in a very intimate and perceptive manner about individual people, their economic and political situations, art, culture, and social change Other reporters may provide an overview of some of the locations and events covered in this collection, but they do not contribute the singular level of insight, understanding and wisdom that Solomon does This is an informative and thought provoking read with a great deal to consider and absorb Highly recommended.
Thank you to Scribner and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.
Warning this isn t a book review as much as my story about this book Some years ago at least 15 , my depressed then husband handed me Solomon s The Noonday Demon in order to for me to understand what he was going through he has since been diagnosed with something else but that s irrelevant here What happened I read The Noonday Demon with great interest from cover to cover yes, I ve had the blues myself at times too When we divorced, I kept the copy ha haaa Sowhen I heard this book and title mentioned on the New York Times Book Review Podcast where most of my book list comes from I knew his name I had no idea that he had any expertise other than depression So when my book group was looking for titles for 2016, I spontaneously shouted out this title I did not know what a grand choice it was My book group cons
Well, it was not exactly what I expected, and sometimes the reading was quite tedious and weird, but I liked quite a lot in this book anyway and still think that Andrew Solomon is one of the most original and deeply thinking modern journalists I would be happy to read of his books and, especially, to have them in paper form at home probably some day I will Far and Away was claimed to be a collection of stories about different countries nations that are undergoing some landmark changes in their history, culture, social development, etc It also encompasses a wide range of places and time points from Russia in 1990s to post genocidal Rwanda to rapidly modernizing China to post Taliban Afghanistan to Brazil fighting poverty and violance to arising and stumbling Myanmar, and so on Looks very interesting and promising, right The problem is Andrew Solomon s previous two books, Noonday Demon on depression and Far From the Tree on having children very different from you your image of what they should be , are among my favorite nonfiction works of the past decade or so They are long as hell, but I frequently and unhesitatingly recommend them whenever the subjects come up For a lot of reasons, but mostly I guess because Solomon takes these vast topics and brilliantly fuses both historical and cultural overviews with intimate reporting on individual lives So even though I knew going in that Far and Away was simply a collection of magazine pieces starting I guess the early 1990s and through 2014 all are slightly reworked or expanded, with intros and codas that update the material I still wanted to see what the man had to say