Andrew Solomon believes it is our differences that unite us.

A celebrated author and lecturer, Solomon will give a talk based on his groundbreaking book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, in the Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center. The event, which is part of the Speaker Series at Illinois State University, is free and open to the public.

Far From the Tree  is available at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore at the Bone Student Center, though there will not be a book signing at the event.

Published in 2012, Far From the Tree won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was chosen as one of the New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2012. The work is a breathtaking look at parents and children who face extraordinary circumstances including deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism and schizophrenia, to those facing stigmas for being transgender, prodigies or conceived in rape. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, Solomon argues, the “experience of difference” within families is universal.

Solomon is a lecturer in psychiatry at Cornell University and holds the title of Special Advisor of LGBT Affairs (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) at Yale University. He is an activist for LGBT rights, mental health, education and the arts. He is founder of the Solomon Research Fellowships in LGBT Studies at Yale University, and a member of the board of directors of Trans Youth Family Allies.

Solomon is a director of the University of Michigan Depression Center, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and Columbia Psychiatry; and a member of the Board of Visitors of Columbia University Medical Center. He is also a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the World Monuments Fund.

His last book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, won the National Book Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; it has been published in 22 languages. His previous books are A Stone Boat, a recently reissued novel, and The Irony Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost.

The Oct. 28 talk is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Sage Foundation Fund, the Fell Trust, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Division of Student Affairs. For additional information about Solomon’s talk, contact Julie Barnhill, Presidential and Trustee Events, at 438-8790.