February 28, 2010 |
There's a fault line opening in John McPhee. After 28 books and countless essays, he is giving us, bit by bit, a more personal sense of who he is. In a recent, beautiful piece for the New Yorker, he combined an essay on pickerel with memories of his father's death and a lasting image of his father's bamboo fishing rod. The piece took many readers by surprise -- not the style, which was the same seamless combination of carefully chosen details and information,...
May 28, 2006 |
THERE'S a moment in John McPhee's "Uncommon Carriers" that captures the tension at the heart of his work. The scene is the pilothouse of a tugboat pushing a string of barges up the Illinois River. McPhee, the consummate watcher, has caught the eye of a deckhand named Rick Walker, who doesn't like what he sees. "He takes note of my routines with unconcealed contempt," the author explains, "in part because I don't have any....
March 7, 2000 |
In other sections of the newspaper, you can find ratings that various interest groups--the Christian Coalition, Americans for Democratic Action and the League of Conservation Voters, for example--have assigned to various politicians. Only in this section--this space, actually--can you find the ratings of Sports Heroes for America--SHAM. Those ratings are particularly relevant today, Super Tuesday.
August 16, 1998 |
"Annals of the Former World" is not merely a captivating travel book. John McPhee takes you with him all the way across the United States, largely by way of Interstate 80, ending on Nob Hill in San Francisco at the top of Coit Tower, evoking places and faces on the way with all the skills of a master journalist. But you are also led on a journey back through time, at least 3.5 billion years, through the landscapes that, in all their glorious variety, form the bedrock of the nation.
April 4, 1997 |
There was a time when young journalists dreamed of growing up to become John McPhee, of someday writing for newspapers and magazines that allowed them to write literary journalism.