Bestselling author and New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik embarks on a wildly creative inquiry into perhaps the oldest question: how do we learn a new skill?
For decades, Adam Gopnik has been one of our most beloved writers, a brilliantly perceptive critic of art, food, France, and more. But recently, he became obsessed by a fundamental matter: how did the people he was writing about learn their outlandish skill, whether it was drawing a nude or baking a sourdough loaf? In The Real Work-the term magicians use for the accumulated craft that makes for a great trick-Gopnik apprentices himself to an artist, a dancer, a boxer, and even a driving instructor (from the DMV), among others, trying his late-middle-age hand at things he assumed were beyond him. He finds that mastering a skill is a process of methodically breaking down and building up, piece by piece-and that true mastery, in any field, requires mastering other people´s minds. Exuberant and profound, The Real Work is ultimately about why we relentlessly seek to better ourselves in the first place.