Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On Adam Gopnik

While on my honeymoon in August 2002, I had the pleasure of reading Adam Gopnik's Paris To The Moon. Quickly, I found myself completely in love with his expertly touching prose. His stories of Paris as seen through the eyes of his young son, Luke, were told so beautifully that I just had to read passages aloud to my new wife. And I trust that she found the words just as sweet.

Since then, Mr. Gopnik has written so many fantastic essays for The New Yorker and one children's book, The King in the Window. His most recent book, entitled Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York, is a warm collection of essays written since the Gopniks' return to New York City. My favorite of his essays are all here. From his daughter and her imaginary friend, who like so many New Yorkers, has such a busy schedule that he just doesn't have time to play with her and is always promising to call her back ("Bumping into Mr. Ravioli"), to his most wonderful tribute to his friend, Kirk Varnedoe, dying of colon cancer, who takes time to coach football to a group of kids in Central Park ("The Last of the Metrozoids").

It's my opinion that no parent's bookshelf is complete without the works of Adam Gopnik. I read his accounts of parenting and I have no doubt that they have some effect on my own personal approach to the same.

A few related links from the web:

Writer sees life from a child's view

Raising kids in NYC, where even an imaginary friend has a personal assistant

Manhattan to the Moon

Notes from a small island

Laughing Out Loud
(with podcast)

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