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

Adam Gopnik, Author . Knopf $25 (318p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4181-7

Back from living in Paris with his wife and two kids, as chronicled charmingly in Paris to the Moon , Gopnik, a writer for the New Yorker , records in his tidy, writerly and obsessive fashion his family's relocation to the city of his earliest professional aspiration: New York. No longer the grim, decrepit hell of the 1970s, New York of the new century has become a children's city, infused by a "new paternal feeling," and doting father Gopnik is delighted to walk through the Children's Gate of Central Park to relive the romance of childhood. His 20 various essays meander over topics dear to the hearts of New York parents, such as learning to be appropriately Jewish ("A Purim Story"); working with the ad hoc committee called Artists and Anglers at his son's hypercaring private school, on methods of flight for the production of Peter Pan ; and his four-year-old daughter's imaginary playmate, Charlie Ravioli, who is simply too booked to play with her. The less structured series of essays on Thanksgiving are most pleasing and read like diaries, ranging from the rage over noise to the safety of riding buses. Gopnik conveys in his mannered, occasionally gilded prose that New York still represents a kind of childlike hope—"for something big to happen." 150,000 copy first printing. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/04/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
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