Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change; Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years

Andrew Solomon. Scribner, $29 (576p) ISBN 978-1-4767-9504-1
Revolution, genocide, and violent exhibitions of Chinese art are among the perils navigated in these adventurous essays. Journalist and psychologist Solomon (Far from the Tree) gamely plunges into global tragedies, hot spots, and cultural ferment: persecuted art scenes in Afghanistan and China; folkways of psychological depression in places as far-flung as Greenland, where the suicide rate is 10%, and post–Khmer Rouge Cambodia; the bureaucratic and political mazes of Libya under the Qaddafi dictatorship and Myanmar as military rule crumbles. Sprinkled in are calmer but wonderfully lyrical travel pieces portraying the primordial freedoms of Mongolian steppe nomads and the “hostile, exquisite, primitive vastness” of Antarctic ice fields. Solomon’s writing captures the sweep of history and social upheaval through vivid, fine-grained reportage that’s raptly attuned to individual experience. There are some real gems here, including a romantic, absurdist account of Moscow’s avant-garde artists facing down tanks and a piece aptly titled, “Naked, Covered in Ram’s Blood, Drinking a Coke, and Feeling Pretty Good.” But all the essays make for entertaining, thoughtful reads. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 04/19/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 464 pages - 978-1-4767-9506-5
Paperback - 978-1-5011-4392-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-2243-9
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