Tea And Empathy With ‘Noonday Demon’ Author Andrew Solomon



They say you should never meet your heroes. Especially, perhaps, the ones who helped define the person you’ve become. Yet here I am, having sweet tea and a thick wedge of cinnamon cake with mine. 

Andrew Solomon is a writer, clinical psychology professor, human rights activist and TED talk celebrity. He is, to my mind, one of the great public intellectuals of our time. He’s beside me now, eating a cheese sandwich from a wicker basket. 

Andrew has been important to me for years. His writing about depression made me understand my own – more clearly than any doctor, more powerfully than Sylvia Plath. He’s always been there to articulate my condition when I cannot. And that’s literally happened – once, when I was heart-deep and mute in a depressive episode, I emailed the link to Andrew’s TED talk (“Depression, the secret we share”) to my parents, friends and boss. The subject line was “This” and the text of the email just read “If you’ve got 29 minutes and 21 seconds, this is the clearest explanation of depression I’ve ever heard.” 

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