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Paris to the Moon

by

Paris to the Moon Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Paris. The name alone conjures images of chestnut-lined boulevards, sidewalk cafés, breathtaking façades around every corner — in short, an exquisite romanticism that has captured the American imagination for as long as there have been Americans.

In 1995, Adam Gopnik, his wife, and their infant son left the familiar comforts and hassles of New York City for the urbane glamour of the City of Light. Gopnik is a longtime New Yorker writer, and the magazine has sent its writers to Paris for decades — but his was above all a personal pilgrimage to the place that had for so long been the undisputed capital of everything cultural and beautiful. It was also the opportunity to raise a child who would know what it was to romp in the Luxembourg Gardens, to enjoy a croque monsieur in a Left Bank café — a child (and perhaps a father, too) who would have a grasp of that Parisian sense of style we Americans find so elusive.

So, in the grand tradition of the American abroad, Gopnik walked the paths of the Tuileries, enjoyed philosophical discussions at his local bistro, wrote as violet twilight fell on the arrondissements. Of course, as readers of Gopnik's beloved and award-winning "Paris Journals" in The New Yorker know, there was also the matter of raising a child and carrying on with day-to-day, not-so-fabled life. Evenings with French intellectuals preceded middle-of-the-night baby feedings; afternoons were filled with trips to the Musée d'Orsay and pinball games; weekday leftovers were eaten while three-star chefs debated a "culinary crisis."

As Gopnik describes in this funny and tender book, the dual processes of navigating a foreign city and becoming a parent are not completely dissimilar journeys — both hold new routines, new languages, a new set of rules by which everyday life is lived. With singular wit and insight, Gopnik weaves the magical with the mundane in a wholly delightful, often hilarious look at what it was to be an American family man in Paris at the end of the twentieth century. "We went to Paris for a sentimental reeducation — I did anyway — even though the sentiments we were instructed in were not the ones we were expecting to learn, which I believe is why they call it an education."

Review:

"The overarching theme of the book is France's ambivalent status in the world today and just how French self-attitude is different now from what it used to be — in other words, the 'persistence of this civilization in the sideshow of postmodern culture.' Falling under Gopnik's critical eye are such specific topics as Islamic terrorism, labor relations, French versus American versions of the health club, and 'the French gift for social dramatization.'" Booklist

Review:

"The finest book on France in recent years." Alain de Botton, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Magisterial. A" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Although his subjects are broad global capitalism, American economic hegemony, and France's declining role in the world, [Gopnik] approaches each one via the tiny, personal details of his life as a married expatriate with a small child....Throughout, Gopnik is unabashedly sentimental about Paris, yet he never loses the objectivity of his outsider's eye. His 'macro in the micro' style sometimes seems a convenient excuse to write about himself, but elegantly woven together with the larger issues facing France, those personal observations beautifully convey a vision of Paris and its prideful, abstract-thinking, endlessly fascinating inhabitants. Although the core readership for this book will most likely be loyal New Yorker subscribers, its thoughtful, funny portrayal of French life give it broad appeal to Francophiles unfamiliar with Gopnik's work." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Gopnick's essays do what the best writing should do: they inform as they entertain." Library Journal

Review:

"Adam Gopnik's avid intelligence and nimble pen found subjects to love in Paris and in the growth of his small American family there. A conscientious, scrupulously savvy American husband and father meets contemporary France, and fireworks result, lighting up not just the Eiffel Tower." John Updike

Review:

"Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon abounds in the sensuous delights of the city — the magical carousel in the Luxembourg Gardens, the tomato dessert at Arpège, even the exquisite awfulness of the new state library. But the even greater joys of this exquisite memoir are timeless and even placeless — the excitement of the journey, the confusion of an outsider, and, most of all, the love of a family." Jeffrey Toobin

Review:

"The chronicle of an American writer's lifelong infatuation with Paris is also an extended meditation--in turn hilarious and deeply moving — on the threat of globalization, the art of parenting, and the civilizing intimacy of family life. Whether he's writing about the singularity of the Papon trial, the glory of bistro cuisine, the wacky idiosyncrasies of French kindergartens, or the vexing bureaucracy of Parisian health clubs, Gopnik's insights are infused with a formidable cultural intelligence, and his prose is as pellucid as that of any essayist. A brilliant, exhilarating book." Francine du Plessix Gray

Review:

"Adam Gopnik is a dazzling talent — hilarious, winning, and deft — but the surprise of Paris to the Moon is its quiet, moral intelligence. This book begins as journalism and ends up as literature." Malcolm Gladwell

About the Author

Adam Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986, and his work for the magazine has won the National Magazine Award for Essay and Criticism as well as the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. He broadcasts regularly for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and is the author of the article on the culture of the United States in the last two editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica. From 1995 to 2000, Gopnik lived in Paris, where the newspaper Le Monde praised his "witty and Voltairean picture of French life" and the weekly magazine Le Point wrote, "It is impossible to resist delighting in the nuances of his articles, for the details concerning French culture that one discovers even when one is French oneself." He now lives in New York with his wife, Martha Parker, and their two children, Luke and Olivia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Darnaway, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Darnaway)
This rejoicing on Paris must be a delight to most civilized readers - to those who love two countries - their own, and France, - and Greece, if I may be allowed to make it three. "Pace", Herbie, for my using my second word as a noun. Standards have fallen everywhere; from the C of E to French cuisine. My first guide to Paris said it is practically impossible to eat poorly in France. A couple of years later one read that it was becoming a possibility. Mr. Gopnik was not able to recover the lost in the nineties, but this book certainly gives fine hours to those not opposed to fondly picturing what he observed while he was living in Paris, and what some of us breathed in a few years earlier.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375758232
Author:
Gopnik, Adam
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
France
Subject:
Paris
Subject:
Journalists
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
Family/Interpersonal Memoir
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Subject:
Paris (France) Social life and customs.
Subject:
Americans -- France -- Paris.
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st trade pbk. ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
72-67.
Publication Date:
September 2001
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
7.94x5.30x.78 in. .59 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Biography » General
» Featured Titles » Literature
» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
» History and Social Science » Europe » France » Paris
» History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists
» History and Social Science » Sociology » General
» Travel » Europe » France
» Travel » Travel Writing » Europe
» Travel » Travel Writing » France
» Travel » Travel Writing » General

Paris to the Moon Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Random House Trade - English 9780375758232 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The overarching theme of the book is France's ambivalent status in the world today and just how French self-attitude is different now from what it used to be — in other words, the 'persistence of this civilization in the sideshow of postmodern culture.' Falling under Gopnik's critical eye are such specific topics as Islamic terrorism, labor relations, French versus American versions of the health club, and 'the French gift for social dramatization.'"
"Review" by , "The finest book on France in recent years."
"Review" by , "Magisterial. A"
"Review" by , "Although his subjects are broad global capitalism, American economic hegemony, and France's declining role in the world, [Gopnik] approaches each one via the tiny, personal details of his life as a married expatriate with a small child....Throughout, Gopnik is unabashedly sentimental about Paris, yet he never loses the objectivity of his outsider's eye. His 'macro in the micro' style sometimes seems a convenient excuse to write about himself, but elegantly woven together with the larger issues facing France, those personal observations beautifully convey a vision of Paris and its prideful, abstract-thinking, endlessly fascinating inhabitants. Although the core readership for this book will most likely be loyal New Yorker subscribers, its thoughtful, funny portrayal of French life give it broad appeal to Francophiles unfamiliar with Gopnik's work."
"Review" by , "Gopnick's essays do what the best writing should do: they inform as they entertain."
"Review" by , "Adam Gopnik's avid intelligence and nimble pen found subjects to love in Paris and in the growth of his small American family there. A conscientious, scrupulously savvy American husband and father meets contemporary France, and fireworks result, lighting up not just the Eiffel Tower."
"Review" by , "Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon abounds in the sensuous delights of the city — the magical carousel in the Luxembourg Gardens, the tomato dessert at Arpège, even the exquisite awfulness of the new state library. But the even greater joys of this exquisite memoir are timeless and even placeless — the excitement of the journey, the confusion of an outsider, and, most of all, the love of a family."
"Review" by , "The chronicle of an American writer's lifelong infatuation with Paris is also an extended meditation--in turn hilarious and deeply moving — on the threat of globalization, the art of parenting, and the civilizing intimacy of family life. Whether he's writing about the singularity of the Papon trial, the glory of bistro cuisine, the wacky idiosyncrasies of French kindergartens, or the vexing bureaucracy of Parisian health clubs, Gopnik's insights are infused with a formidable cultural intelligence, and his prose is as pellucid as that of any essayist. A brilliant, exhilarating book."
"Review" by , "Adam Gopnik is a dazzling talent — hilarious, winning, and deft — but the surprise of Paris to the Moon is its quiet, moral intelligence. This book begins as journalism and ends up as literature."
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