The 2011 CBC Massey Lectures celebrates fifty years with bestselling author, essayist, cultural observer, and famed New Yorker contributor Adam Gopnik, whose subject is winter -- the season, the space, the cycle.
Gopnik takes us on an intimate tour of the artists, poets, composers, writers, explorers, scientists, and thinkers, who helped shape a new and modern idea of winter. Here we learn how a poem by William Cowper heralds the arrival of the middle class; how snow science leads to existential questions of God and our place in the world; how the race to the poles marks the human drive to imprint meaning on a blank space. Gopnik’s kaleidoscopic work ends in the present day, when he traverses the underground city in Montreal, pondering the future of Northern culture.
A stunningly beautiful meditation buoyed by Gopnik’s trademark gentle wit, Winter is at once an enchanting homage to an idea of a season and a captivating journey through the modern imagination. This deluxe 50th anniversary edition includes full-colour images printed on two 8-page inserts.
... a book every Canadian needs to own.
[Gopnik is] a wonderful essayist, erudite, elegant and incisive.
... enlightening and full of discovery ... insightful ...
... beautifully written ...
...charming...[Adam Gopnik's essays] provide a timely reminder that we still have something to learn about the season.
... sensationally good ...
...outstanding...[Adam Gopnik's] windows on winter illuminate varied aspects of the season, but, more profoundly, they also shed light on the human condition and our complex relationship with nature.
Few writers are as adept as Gopnik, a natural born essayist, at generating such thoughts and seeing them spiritedly advancing across the page, like the "secret ministry" of frost at midnight.
These lectures, these chapters, these thematic notes rise and fall with the senses they evoke: not just the visual indulgences of art, the oral of poetry, the taste of warm dishes, the touch of snowflakes, the absent odor of frigid air: Gopnik outfits winter with art, literature, bodily experience, and history, such that the reader can recall the season in the context of culture as well as anticipate it as well.
... pleasurably readable ... the Massey selectors made an inspired choice for 2011.
[Adam Gopnik] is adept at connecting disparate subjects and ideas in interesting and unusual ways.
Winter is a soulful, studied meditation on the season that most captures our imagination . . . highly recommended.
Gopnik melds familiar and arcane without talking down to readers ... thoughtful ...
... a stream of endlessly entertaining insights and ideas -- a treasury of people and places and art.