John McPhee

     "An Alaska mosquito is not a Lower Forty-eight mosquito that has moved north. Before getting into the tent, I had slapped my leg, turned the palm up, and counted seventeen corpses in my hand."
John McPhee

Born: March 8, 1931     Birthplace: Princeton, N.J.

    "What gives [McPhee's] writing its powerful fascination is the strange, raw quality of fact: it all really happened, just this way."
Los Angeles Times


From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

     McPhee is American journalist whose nonfiction books are accessible and informative on a wide variety of topics--particularly profiles of figures in sports, science, and the environment. Many of his books are adaptations of articles he published in The New Yorker magazine.
     After graduating from Princeton University (A.B., 1953), McPhee studied for a year at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He served as an associate editor at Time magazine (1957-64) and a staff writer at The New Yorker (from 1965). His first book, A Sense of Where You Are (1965), is based on an article he wrote for The New Yorker on Bill Bradley, basketball player and Rhodes scholar (and from 1978 to 1996, U.S. senator).

 "McPhee has a genius for writing about unusual people whose activities border on the eccentric."
    The Houston Post


Click here to listen to John McPhee read from Rising From the Plains (RealAudio format)


Books by John McPhee:

Annals of the Former World
Assembling California
Basin and Rangelow_graphics
Coming into the Country
The Control of Nature
Crofter and the Laird
The Curve of Binding Energy
The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed
Encounters With the Archdruid
Giving Good Weight
Headmaster: Frank L.Boyden of Deerfield
Heirs of General Practice
In Suspect Terrain
Irons in the Fire
John McPhee Reader
La Place De LA Concorde Suisse
Levels of the Game
Looking for a Ship
Pieces of the Frame
The Pine Barrens
The Ransom of Russian Art
Rising from the Plains
Roomful of Hovings and Other Profiles
A Sense of Where You Are
The Survival of the Bark Canoe
The Control of Nature

Click here to listen to John McPhee on the Science Friday program (45 min.) (RealAudio format)

Amazon.com on Assembling California:
    As an explainer, John McPhee is a national treasure. The longtime "New Yorker" staff writer has taken us inside the world of art museums, environmental groups, fruit markets, airship factories, basketball courts, and atomic-bomb labs the world over. Here he covers the complex geological history of California, the source of much news today.
     As Californians daily await the inevitable great earthquake that will send their cities tumbling down like so many matchsticks, McPhee piles fact on luminous fact, wrestling raw data into a beautifully written narrative that gainsays a sedimentologist's warning: "You can't cope with this in an organized way," he told McPhee, "because the rocks aren't organized." As always, McPhee enlarges our understanding of the strange, making it familiar--and endlessly interesting.

John McPhee Links:

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