Andrew Solomon studied at Yale University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1985, and then at Jesus College Cambridge, where he received the top first-class degree in English in his year, the only foreign student ever to be so-honored, as well as the University writing prize.
In 1988, he began his study of Russian artists, which culminated with the publication of The Irony Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost. He was asked in 1993 to consult with members of the National Security Council on Russian affairs and wrote parts of Clintons first Russia speeches; that year he was also named a Contributing Writer of The New York Times Magazine, a position he held until 2001. His recently reissued first novel, A Stone Boat, was a runner up for the LA Times First Fiction prize and was a national bestseller; it has now been published in 5 languages.
Solomons most recent book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, has won him fourteen national awards, including the 2001 National Book Award, and is being published in 22 languages. It was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and has been on the New York Times bestseller list in both hardback and paperback. It was chosen an American Library Association Notable Book of 2001 and a New York Times Notable Book.
Solomon has lectured on depression around the world, including recent stints at Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress. He is a regular contributor to numerous publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Artforum. He has joined the board of the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign and of the Depression Center of the University of Michigan. He is on the advisory boards of Outward Bound and the Mental Health Policy forum at Columbia University, and on the Conservators Council of the New York Public Library. He is a fellow of Berkeley College at Yale University and is a member of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Solomon married John Habich in an official civil partnership ceremony in 2007. They maintain residences in London and New York.
This biography was last updated on 11/18/2012.
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An interview with Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of DepressionYou are extremely articulate and self-aware, which no doubt proved hugely useful in both your talk therapy and work with a pychopharmocologist. However, how do less communicative, less aware people fare? Is recovery or degree of recovery linked to the ability to speak?
The ability to speak about your mood states absolutely helps in the process of recuperation. It's not that people who don't know how to talk about depression get sicker, but that they stay sick for longer, make less satisfactory recoveries. I found several people during my research who said that the day someone called their problem depression and gave them a word to use for it was the day they began to get better. I put forward in my book the idea that there is actually a neuroanatomical reason why talking about things makes you feel better about them. Describing your depression can activates bits of brain circuitry that are extremely positive. Though obsessing about your problems makes them worse, talking about them gives you some control of them. One of my aims in writing this book was to show people how to talk about depression, to give them a ...
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