At the Strangers' Gate
By Adam Gopnik
From The New York Times best-selling author of Paris to the Moon and beloved New Yorker writer, a memoir that captures the romance of New York City in the 1980s.
'A dazzling talent' Malcolm Gladwell
When Adam Gopnik and his soon-to-be-wife, Martha, left the comforts of home in Montreal for New York, the city then, much like today, was a pilgrimage site for the young, the arty, and the ambitious. But it was also becoming a city of greed, where both life's consolations and its necessities were increasingly going to the highest bidder.
At the Strangers' Gate builds a portrait of this particular moment in New York through the story of this couple's journey--from their excited arrival as aspiring artists to their eventual growth into a New York family. Gopnik transports us to his tiny basement room on the Upper East Side, and later to SoHo, where he captures a unicorn: an affordable New York loft. He takes us through his professional meanderings, from graduate student-cum-library-clerk to the corridors of Conde Nast and the galleries of MoMA.
Between tender and humorous reminiscences, including affectionate portraits of Richard Avedon, Robert Hughes, and Jeff Koons, among many others, Gopnik discusses the ethics of ambition, the economy of creative capital, and the peculiar anthropology of art and aspiration in New York, then and now.
Adam Gopnik has been writing for the New Yorker since 1986. He is a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism, and the George Polk Award for magazine reporting. From 1995 to 2000 he lived in Paris; he now lives in New York City with his wife and their two children.
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- Publication date:
07 Sep 2017
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Engaging, witty, thoughtful, clever, casual, ebullient, erudite and thoroughly modern — Spectator, on Adam Gopnik
Gopnik's mind darts about like mercury as he tells his tale — The Times, on Adam Gopnik
The distinctive brilliance of Gopnik's essays lies in his ability to pick up a subject one would never have believed possible to think deeply about then cover it in thoughts. He is truly able to see the whole world in a grain of sand — Alain de Botton, New York Times Book Review, on Adam Gopnik
Adam Gopnik's avid intelligence and nimble pen . . . Conscientious, scrupulously savvy — John Updike, on Adam Gopnik
Adam Gopnik is a dazzling talent - hilarious, winning and deft — Malcolm Gladwell, on Adam Gopnik
By virtue of his exceptional observational and analytical powers, acute emotional and moral exactitude, and charmingly rueful sense of humor, he turns in a riveting and incandescent chronicle of personal evolution vividly set within the ever-morphing, cocaine-stoked crucible of ferocious ambition that was 1980s Manhattan . . . Arabesque, captivating, self-deprecating, and affecting, Gopnik's cultural and intimate reflections, in league with those of Alfred Kazin and Joan Didion, are rich in surprising moments and delving perceptions into chance, creativity, character, style, conviction, hard work, and love. — Donna Seaman, Booklist