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The Noonday Demon

The Noonday Demon

An Atlas Of Depression

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A Scribner Classics edition of Andrew Solomon’s National Book Award-winning, bestselling, and transformative masterpiece on depression—“the book for a generation, elegantly written, meticulously researched, empathetic, and enlightening” (Time).

Winner of more than a dozen awards, The Noonday Demon “takes readers on a journey of incomparable range and resonance” (O, The Oprah Magazine), revealing the subtle complexities and sheer agony of depression. Andrew Solomon interviews patients, doctors and scientists, policy makers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers to describe 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, The Noonday Demon “is a considerable accomplishment. It is likely to provoke discussion and controversy, and its generous assortment of voices, from the pathological to the philosophical, makes for rich, variegated reading” (The New York Times).
  • Scribner | 
  • 576 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451611038 | 
  • September 2014
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Depression

Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair. When it comes, it degrades one's self and ultimately eclipses the capacity to give or receive affection. It is the aloneness within us made manifest, and it destroys not only connection to others but also the ability to be peacefully alone with oneself. Love, though it is no prophylactic against depression, is what cushions the mind and protects it from itself. Medications and psychotherapy can renew that protection, making it easier to love and be loved,... see more

About the Author

Andrew Solomon
Photo Credit: © Annie Leibovitz

Andrew Solomon

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; 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 University’s Department of Psychiatry.

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