May 25, 2018
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 of the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. In March 2013, Gopnik was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic.
We met in Montreal at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival to discuss his book At the Strangers' Gate. Among other things we talk about bookshops, art in the 1980s, the art critic Robert Hughes, George Soros, ambition, Jeff Koons, morality versus mortality, value and money, public and privates selves, monstrous helium balloon personalities, blue rooms and big stores, our sons and daughters and their definition of success, the contradictory impulses of interesting art, the critical calling, Richard Avedon and charismatic mentors, wives, love and Mordecai Richler, Mr. Sensitivo and repertory cinema, married sex and The Civil War, fathers' advice, intellectuals, a benevolent universe, and the secret of writing.