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The Real Work: On the Mystery of Mastery

Thursday, May 11, 2023, 2:00 PM until 3:00 PM
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How do masters learn their miraculous skill, whether producing a museum-quality painting or baking a perfect sourdough loaf? How could anyone become so good at anything? In his new book, The Real Work: On the Mystery of Mastery, best-selling author and The New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik investigates how we learn - and master - a new skill. To unravel this fundamental mystery, Adam became a dedicated student of several masters of their craft: a classical painter, a boxer, a dancing instructor, a driving instructor, and others. Join us to hear what Adam discovered in his search for the answer to mastery and how mastery can happen in your own life - and, significantly, why each of us relentlessly seeks to better ourselves in the first place.

Adam Gopnik, staff writer and contributor to The New Yorker since 1986, has written fiction, humor, book reviews, personal essays, profiles, and reported pieces from abroad. He was the magazine’s art critic from 1987 to 1995, Paris correspondent from 1995 to 2000, and from 2000 to 2005, wrote a journal about New York life. He has written books including essay collections about Paris and food to children’s novels; a musical, and a one-man storytelling show. Gopnik has won three National Magazine Awards for essays and for criticism, and the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. In 2013, Gopnik was awarded the medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, and in 2021 he was made a Chevalier of the Legion d’honneur. He lectures widely, and, in 2011, delivered the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s fiftieth-anniversary Massey Lecture.

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