Adam Gopnik Biography

Writer (1956–)
Prominent book author and magazine writer, Adam Gopnik is a leading arts and culture writer.


Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 24, 1956, and raised in Montreal, Canada, Adam Gopnik is a prominent American writer who became well known through his work for his work his writing on arts and culture. He's won numerous awards, including the National Magazine Award for Essay and Criticism and the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting.

Early Life

Adam Gopnik was born on August 24, 1956, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At an early age Gopnik moved with his family to Montreal, Canada, where his parents, both professors, taught at McGill University.

Gopnik eventually ended up at McGill himself, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980. Wanting to continue his studies, Gopnik then moved to New York City, where he enrolled at New York University and he earned his M.A. degree in art history.

A Life In Magazines

Gopnik's first significant job in the world of publishing came in 1983, when the book publisher Alfred A. Knopf hired him as an editor. Two years later, he stepped into magazines when he joined the staff of Gentlemen's Quarterly as its fiction editor.

In 1987, Gopnik landed what many consider to be a magazine writer's dream job, when The New Yorker added him to its masthead as its art critic. While Gopnik has been unafraid to venture into other subjects, it's art and its relationship with our culture that's driven much of his career.

In 1990 Gopnik teamed up with Kirk Varnedoe, the New York Museum of Modern Art's former curator of painting and sculpture, for the exhibition "High & Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture," which also became the subject and title of his first book.

In 1995, Gopnik moved with his wife, Martha Parker, to Paris, where he continued to write for The New Yorker with his "Paris Journals" column, which was later collected into the book Paris to the Moon.

Gopnik returned to the United States in 2000, settling in New York City and continuing his career with The New Yorker while also pursuing other writing projects.

As he would later recall, the adjustment to living again in the United States wasn't an easy one for him. And in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy, life seemed to grow even more challenging. Like any good writer, however, Gopnik made use of his complicated feelings and turned them into a book, the 2006 release Through the Children's Gate, which touches on his life in New York and as a parent. He and his wife Martha have two children, son Luke and daughter Olivia.

Gopnik's other books include the children's tale, The King in the Window. In 2009 he published Angels and Ages, which looks at the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.

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