Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John A. McPhee (born March 8, 1931) is a nonfiction writer who has (as of 2003) written 29 books. He is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. Many of his books include material originally written for that magazine.
McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, the son of the local college basketball coach. McPhee was educated at Princeton University and Cambridge University. His writing career began at Time magazine and led to a long association with The New Yorker beginning in 1965. He has received many literary honors, including the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1999, awarded for Annals of the Former World.
McPhee’s subjects are highly eclectic. He has written pieces on dirigibles, the United States Merchant Marine (Looking for a Ship), farmers markets (Giving Good Weight) the shifting flow of the Mississippi River (The Control of Nature), geology (in several books), as well as a short book entirely on the subject of oranges. McPhee has profiled a number of famous people, including conservationist David Brower and the young Bill Bradley, whom McPhee followed as a senior playing basketball at Princeton University. Some of McPhee's most memorable work describes people out of the limelight: a carver of birch bark canoes, a bush pilot, and a French-speaking wine maker in the Swiss army. Though the underlying subjects of his books are varied, his works almost always have a human interest flavor.
McPhee is also a distinguished nonfiction writing instructor, having taught generations of aspiring undergraduate writers at Princeton University. Twice married, McPhee is the father of four daughters.
Books by John McPhee
- A Sense of Where You Are (1965) ISBN 0374514852
- The Headmaster (1966) ISBN 0374168601
- Oranges (1967) ISBN 0374226881
- The Pine Barrens (1968) ISBN 0374233608. A look at New Jersey's Pine Barrens, mainly from Colonial times to 1966.
- A Roomful of Hovings and Other Profiles ISBN 0374515018 (collection, 1969)
- Levels of the Game (1970) ISBN 0374515263
- Encounters with the Archdruid (1972) ISBN 0374148228. Personalities on both sides of the American environmentalism movement.
- The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed (1973)ISBN 0374516359. Story of the Aereon, a combination aerodyne / aerostat.
- The Curve of Binding Energy (1974) ISBN 0374133735
- Pieces of the Frame (collection, 1975) ISBN 0374514984
- The Survival of the Bark Canoe (1975) ISBN 0374272077
- The John McPhee Reader (collection, 1977) ISBN 0374179921
- Coming into the Country (1977) ISBN 0374522871
- Giving Good Weight (collection, 1979) ISBN 0374163065
- Basin and Range (1981) ISBN 0374109141. Republished in Annals of the Former World.
- In Suspect Terrain (1983) ISBN 0374176507. Republished in Annals of the Former World.
- La Place de la Concorde Suisse (1984) ISBN 0374519323
- Table of Contents (collection, 1985) ISBN 0374520089
- Rising from the Plains (1986) ISBN 0374250820. Republished in Annals of the Former World.
- Heirs of General Practice (1986) ISBN 0374519749
- The Control of Nature (1989) ISBN 0374128901
- Looking for a Ship (1990) ISBN 0374190771
- Assembling California (1993) ISBN 0374523932. Republished in Annals of the Former World.
- The Ransom of Russian Art (1994) ISBN 0374246823
- The Second John McPhee Reader (1996) ISBN 0374524637
- Irons in the Fire (1997) ISBN 0374177260
- Annals of the Former World (1998) ISBN 0374105200. Compilation of five stories on geology. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1999.
- The Founding Fish (2002) ISBN
- The American Shad: Selections from the Founding Fish (Hardcover - March 2004)
- Pulitzer Prize (1999) for Annals of the Former World.
- Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1977).
- nominated, National Book Award (science) for The Curve of Binding Energy.
- nominated, National Book Award (science) for Encounters With the Archdruid.
Sir John McPhee was a Premier of Tasmania. Sir John McPhee was a different person than John McPhee the author.
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