The Noonday Demon
An Atlas of Depression
By Andrew Solomon
(Scribner, Paperback, 9780684854670, 576pp.)
Publication Date: March 26, 2002
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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.
Andrew Solomon is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the 2001 National Book Award; and of the critically acclaimed novel A Stone Boat. He is a lecturer in psychiatry at Cornell University, and Special Advisor on LGBT affairs to the Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. His journalism appears frequently in The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Travel + Leisure, and Newsweek/The Daily Beast.
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.
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.