In The New York Times Book Review, Amanda Ripley reviews Ann Hulbert’s “Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies.” Ripley writes:
Child prodigies are exotic creatures, each unique and inexplicable. But they have a couple of things in common, as Ann Hulbert’s meticulous new book, “Off the Charts,” makes clear: First, most wunderkinds eventually experience some kind of schism with a devoted and sometimes domineering parent. “After all, no matter how richly collaborative a bond children forge with grown-up guides, some version of divorce is inevitable,” Hulbert writes. “It’s what modern experts would call developmentally appropriate.” Second, most prodigies grow up to be thoroughly unremarkable on paper. They do not, by and large, sustain their genius into adulthood.
On this week’s podcast, Hulbert discusses “Off the Charts”; Sam Graham-Felsen talks about his debut novel, “Green”; Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; and Lauren Christensen, Barry Gewen and John Williams on what people are reading. Pamela Paul is the host.
Here are the books mentioned in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:
“Angel” by Elizabeth Taylor
“Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff
“The Perfect Nanny” by Leila Slimani
“Benjamin Franklin” by Walter Isaacson
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