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In Mid-Air: Points of View from over a Decade

Adam Gopnik

4 Reviews

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Literary essays

A collection of witty, illuminating essays on life, art and family by the acclaimed author and New Yorker writer

'Engaging, witty, thoughtful, clever, casual, ebullient, erudite and thoroughly modern' Spectator

'A dazzling talent - hilarious, winning and deft' Malcolm Gladwell

In Mid-Air is a collection of short essays by the acclaimed writer and speaker, Adam Gopnik. Known for his ability to perceive 'the whole world in a grain of sand', he uses this format to take a dizzying range of subjects and intricately explore their meaning to our lives - as people, as citizens and as families.

From how he works so that his daughter can have holes in her clothes, to why appropriation is more empowering than oppressing; from French sex to binge-watching TV, from the secret of a happy marriage to why we should mention the war - each topic is illuminated by his erudition and wit.

As in their original form on the radio, Gopnik's essays - each one a pleasure garden of wry confessions, self-deprecating asides, wordplay and striking insights - feel like the most intimate of conversations between writer and reader; yet at the same time they capture a public forum of pithy debate and tender persuasion. Above all, In Mid-Air initiates a sense of wonder in the ordinary that yearns to be shared.

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Praise for In Mid-Air: Points of View from over a Decade

  • Avid intelligence and a nimble pen - John Updike

  • Brilliantly insightful . . . Any writer who can take subjects as diverse as Wilson Bentley's snow crystal photographs, Dickens's Christmas stories and the myth that the Inuit have dozens of different words for snow, and find something original and interesting to say about each of them, has to be worth reading - Sunday Times, on Winter

  • The distinctive brilliance of Gopnik's essays lies in his ability to pick up a subject one would never have believed possible to think deeply about then cover it in thoughts. He is truly able to see the whole world in a grain of sand - New York Times Book Review

  • 'I need to read anything that Adam Gopnik writes . . . His acuity, grace, sensitive intelligence (in short, his brilliance) are, as ever, dazzlingly displayed and yet with the lightest of touches - Nigella Lawson

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Adam Gopnik

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. From 1995 to 2000 he lived in Paris; he now lives in New York City with his wife and their two children.