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Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New…
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Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York

by Adam Gopnik

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Through the Children’s Gate continues the author’s story of his family which began with Paris to the Moon where the NYC-based writer and wife moved to raise their toddler son in the surrounds of Luxembourg Gardens. Now, five years later and just prior to 9/11, the family has relocated back to New York City, and to be specific, Manhattan. However, unlike the first book, the precocious children (a daughter had since been born) seem more peripheral than central to this memoir. Nonetheless, the LOL imbroglio with his son encapsulates the author’s experience on parenting and his poignant coda on that situation exemplifies optimism in the face of life’s misunderstandings. Like the earlier work, Gopnik’s perceptive and lucid writing offers an accessible intellectuality that leaves the reader feeling clever for having read the book. ( )
  lukespapa | Aug 31, 2011 |
Some of the essays, especially the first one, are a little hard going, but overall, a very nice book about New York and raising children there. You will especially love the stories about Olivia and her imaginary friend. ( )
  Marliesd | Mar 27, 2011 |
Gopnik and his wife decide to move with their family from Paris back home to New York City. The chapters of the book consist of little stories about Gopnik’s kids, about life in New York City after living in Paris, about New York after 9-11. The subject of the chapters is not important. Gopnik has a way of writing so well, so thoughtfully, that the real subject is clearly living itself. Trying to battle what Gopnik calls “the screens,” the video and computer and game screens that have taken over the lives of Gopnik’s children and all American children, was the chapter that hit closest to my heart. ( )
  debnance | Jan 29, 2010 |
Light, Shadows, and the Rambles: Adam Gopnik's flashes of elucidation are brilliant and memorable, but his self-indulgent ruminations puncture the mood he's so able to evoke so poignantly. "Through the Children's Gate" needs a ruthless editor (his young daughter, Olivia?) to urge Gopnik to rethink his ramblings and perhaps combine them as a single, diaristic whole--and leave the pristine quality of the best essays--on Varnadoe, Peter Pan, the goldfish--to stand briilliantly on their own.
1 vote mugwump2 | Nov 29, 2008 |
Wow, this book really took me by surprise. I like Gopnik and regularly read his articles and talk pieces in the New Yorker, but I hadn't quite realized what it would be like to read an entire collection of his essays in one gulp (I admit that I have not read Paris to the Moon, but I certainly will now). Among other things, he writes about his children and their amusing foibles, the amusing foibles of Gopnik and his wife as they make decisions about their children, the illness and death of his best friend, what it means to live in Manhattan after the terrorist attacks of 2001, and his own psychoanalysis, in one of the gentlest yet most penetrating essays in the book.

This book is far more than the sum of its parts. I am probably susceptible to its charm because of my age (46) and race (white), and I doubt that it would speak as clearly to much younger people or people who don't share some of the same cultural assumptions made in the book. On the other hand, although I love New York, I have never lived there. I'm not Jewish, and I have no children, so in those respects the book should not have been so touching to me. Yet it was. I think it's not for everyone, but I think that it is a wonderful addition for those to whom it speaks. ( )
  janey47 | Oct 31, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0676978266, Hardcover)

Following Adam Gopnik’s best-selling Paris to the Moon, the adventure continues against the panorama of another storied city.

Autumn, 2000: the Gopnik family moves back to a New York that seems, at first, safer and shinier than ever. Here are the triumphs and travails of father, mother, son and daughter; and of the teachers, coaches, therapists, adversaries and friends who round out the extended urban family. From Bluie, a goldfish fated to meet a Hitchcockian end, to Charlie Ravioli, an imaginary playmate who, being a New Yorker, is too busy to play, Gopnik’s New York is charmed by the civilization of childhood. It is a fabric of living, which, though rent by the events of 9/11, will reweave itself, reviving a world where Jewish jokes mingle with debates about the problem of consciousness, the price of real estate and the meaning of modern art. By turns elegant and exultant, written with a signature mix of mind and heart, Through the Children’s Gate is at once a celebration of a newly fragile city and a poignant study of a family trying to find its way, and joy, within it.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:41 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Following Gopnik's Paris to the Moon, the adventure continues against the panorama of another storied city. Autumn, 2000: the Gopnik family moves back to a New York that seems, at first, safer and shinier than ever. Here are the triumphs and travails of father, mother, son and daughter; and of the teachers, coaches, therapists, adversaries and friends who round out the extended urban family. From Bluie, a goldfish fated to meet a Hitchcockian end, to Charlie Ravioli, an imaginary playmate who, being a New Yorker, is too busy to play, Gopnik's New York is charmed by the civilization of childhood. It is a fabric of living, which, though rent by the events of 9/11, will reweave itself, reviving a world where Jewish jokes mingle with debates about the problem of consciousness, the price of real estate and the meaning of modern art.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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