The Adam Gopnik School of Writing

Adam Gopnik may be my favorite living writer.  (If I think about that more I could probably add some qualifying adjectives like “nonfiction” – but why bother?)

One of the reasons I love his work is that he effortlessly links things that really ought not to be linked at all.  His piece on geopolitics in this week’s issue of The New Yorker leads not with Kissinger or Spengler but with Paul McCartney and the Beatles.  A few paragraphs later, he even throws in a sly Yoko Ono reference.

You’ll just have to trust me on that: The New Yorker has hidden all of this sparkling prose behind its firewall; all you get for free is a just-the-facts-ma’am abstract.  But do whatever you need to do to read the whole article. It’s a great lesson in how weighty subjects need not be dull, and how a good writer can lighten them up without dumbing them down.

  • storytelling
  • writing