From TheNew 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.
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 Condé 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.
About the Author
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, and in March of 2013, Gopnik was awarded the medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Republic. He lives in New York City with his wife and their two children.
“A riveting and incandescent chronicle of personal evolution vividly set within the ever-morphing, cocaine-stoked crucible of ferocious ambition that was 1980s Manhattan. [Gopnik] tells tales of the forging of a marriage; of nightmares apartment battles with verminous hordes; of fortuitous jobs at museums, men’s fashion magazines, and a book publisher; and of bonds developed with critic Robert Hughes, artist Jeff Koons, and, most profoundly, photographer Richard Avedon. 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.” –Booklist (starred review)
"A tale of love, New York in the '80s and very small studio apartments...Gopnik has a way of making daily domestic life both fascinating and moving, as with previous books Paris to the Moon andThrough the Children's Gate, and his latest is no exception. –The New York Post, "15 books you won't be able to put down this Fall"
"Gopnik’s memoir of life in New York over the past 30 years is everything we enjoy about his writing. It’s at once intellectual, casual, observant and thoughtful." –San Francisco Chronicle
"Adam Gopnik is a flâneur, a voyeur of streetscapes, crowds and singular personalities...He infers, he observes—and then he composes. Because above all else, Gopnik is a writer." –Eve Zibart, BookPage
"[A] stylish memoir...Gopnik is such a celebrated fixture at the New Yorker you might forget he first had to get to New York. He and his spouse got there in the 1980s....[At the Strangers' Gate]depicts the New York City of those days, the people they met, the rat-infested lofts they lived in. –The Philadelphia Inquirer