Draft No. 4

On the Writing Process

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374712395

Category: Reference

Page: 208

View: 5403

Release On

The long-awaited guide to writing long-form nonfiction by the legendary author and teacher Draft No. 4 is a master class on the writer’s craft. In a series of playful, expertly wrought essays, John McPhee shares insights he has gathered over his career and has refined while teaching at Princeton University, where he has nurtured some of the most esteemed writers of recent decades. McPhee offers definitive guidance in the decisions regarding arrangement, diction, and tone that shape nonfiction pieces, and he presents extracts from his work, subjecting them to wry scrutiny. In one essay, he considers the delicate art of getting sources to tell you what they might not otherwise reveal. In another, he discusses how to use flashback to place a bear encounter in a travel narrative while observing that “readers are not supposed to notice the structure. It is meant to be about as visible as someone’s bones.” The result is a vivid depiction of the writing process, from reporting to drafting to revising—and revising, and revising. Draft No. 4 is enriched by multiple diagrams and by personal anecdotes and charming reflections on the life of a writer. McPhee describes his enduring relationships with The New Yorker and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and recalls his early years at Time magazine. Throughout, Draft No. 4 is enlivened by his keen sense of writing as a way of being in the world.

Levels of the Game

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374708657

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 160

View: 3329

Release On

This account of a tennis match played by Arthur Ashe against Clark Graebner at Forest Hills in 1968 begins with the ball rising into the air for the initial serve and ends with the final point. McPhee provides a brilliant, stroke-by-stroke description while examining the backgrounds and attitudes which have molded the players' games.

Silk Parachute

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 142998581X

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 240

View: 2603

Release On

A WONDROUS NEW BOOK OF MCPHEE'S PROSE PIECES—IN MANY ASPECTS HIS MOST PERSONAL IN FOUR DECADES The brief, brilliant essay "Silk Parachute," which first appeared in The New Yorker a decade ago, has become John McPhee's most anthologized piece of writing. In the nine other pieces here— highly varied in length and theme—McPhee ranges with his characteristic humor and intensity through lacrosse, long-exposure view-camera photography, the weird foods he has sometimes been served in the course of his reportorial travels, a U.S. Open golf championship, and a season in Europe "on the chalk" from the downs and sea cliffs of England to the Maas valley in the Netherlands and the champagne country of northern France. Some of the pieces are wholly personal. In luminous recollections of his early years, for example, he goes on outings with his mother, deliberately overturns canoes in a learning process at a summer camp, and germinates a future book while riding on a jump seat to away games as a basketball player. But each piece—on whatever theme—contains somewhere a personal aspect in which McPhee suggests why he was attracted to write about the subject, and each opens like a silk parachute, lofted skyward and suddenly blossoming with color and form.

Annals of the Former World

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374708460

Category: Science

Page: 448

View: 6980

Release On

The Pulitzer Prize-winning view of the continent, across the fortieth parallel and down through 4.6 billion years Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with. The structure of the book never changed, but its breadth caused him to complete it in stages, under the overall title Annals of the Former World. Like the terrain it covers, Annals of the Former World tells a multilayered tale, and the reader may choose one of many paths through it. As clearly and succinctly written as it is profoundly informed, this is our finest popular survey of geology and a masterpiece of modern nonfiction. Annals of the Former World is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.

Coming into the Country

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9780374706074

Category: Travel

Page: 438

View: 9210

Release On

Coming into the Country is an unforgettable account of Alaska and Alaskans. It is a rich tapestry of vivid characters, observed landscapes, and descriptive narrative, in three principal segments that deal, respectively, with a total wilderness, with urban Alaska, and with life in the remoteness of the bush. Readers of McPhee's earlier books will not be unprepared for his surprising shifts of scene and ordering of events, brilliantly combined into an organic whole. In the course of this volume we are made acquainted with the lore and techniques of placer mining, the habits and legends of the barren-ground grizzly, the outlook of a young Athapaskan chief, and tales of the fortitude of settlers—ordinary people compelled by extraordinary dreams. Coming into the Country unites a vast region of America with one of America's notable literary craftsmen, singularly qualified to do justice to the scale and grandeur of the design.

Oranges

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374708703

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 149

View: 1122

Release On

A classic of reportage, Oranges was first conceived as a short magazine article about oranges and orange juice, but the author kept encountering so much irresistible information that he eventually found that he had in fact written a book. It contains sketches of orange growers, orange botanists, orange pickers, orange packers, early settlers on Florida's Indian River, the first orange barons, modern concentrate makers, and a fascinating profile of Ben Hill Griffin of Frostproof, Florida who may be the last of the individual orange barons. McPhee's astonishing book has an almost narrative progression, is immensely readable, and is frequently amusing. Louis XIV hung tapestries of oranges in the halls of Versailles, because oranges and orange trees were the symbols of his nature and his reign. This book, in a sense, is a tapestry of oranges, too—with elements in it that range from the great orangeries of European monarchs to a custom of people in the modern Caribbean who split oranges and clean floors with them, one half in each hand.

The Art of Time in Memoir

Then, Again

Author: Sven Birkerts

Publisher: Graywolf Press

ISBN: 1555973396

Category: Reference

Page: 120

View: 1658

Release On

The Art Of series is a new line of books reinvigorating the practice of craft and criticism. Each book will be a brief, witty, and useful exploration of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry by a writer impassioned by a singular craft issue. The Art Of volumes will provide a series of sustained examinations of key but sometimes neglected aspects of creative writing by some of contemporary literature's finest practioners. In The Art of Time in Memoir, critic and memoirist Sven Birkerts examines the human impulse to write about the self. By examining memoirs such as Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory; Virginia Woolf's unfinished A Sketch of the Past; and Mary Karr's The Liars' Club, Birkerts describes the memoirist's essential art of assembling patterns of meaning, stirring to life our own sense of past and present.

On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition

The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Author: William Zinsser

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0060891548

Category: Reference

Page: 336

View: 6873

Release On

On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet. Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental priciples as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. With more than a million copies sole, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valuable resource for writers and would-be writers.

Heirs of General Practice

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374708525

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 132

View: 4144

Release On

Heirs of General Practice is a frieze of glimpses of young doctors with patients of every age—about a dozen physicians in all, who belong to the new medical specialty called family practice. They are people who have addressed themselves to a need for a unifying generalism in a world that has become greatly subdivided by specialization, physicians who work with the "unquantifiable idea that a doctor who treats your grandmother, your father, your niece, and your daughter will be more adroit in treating you." These young men and women are seen in their examining rooms in various rural communities in Maine, but Maine is only the example. Their medical objectives, their successes, the professional obstacles they do and do not overcome are representative of any place family practitioners are working. While essential medical background is provided, McPhee's masterful approach to a trend significant to all of us is replete with affecting, and often amusing, stories about both doctors and their charges.

Encounters with the Archdruid

Narratives About a Conservationist and Three of His Natural Enemies

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374708630

Category: Nature

Page: 256

View: 897

Release On

The narratives in this book are of journeys made in three wildernesses - on a coastal island, in a Western mountain range, and on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The four men portrayed here have different relationships to their environment, and they encounter each other on mountain trails, in forests and rapids, sometimes with reserve, sometimes with friendliness, sometimes fighting hard across a philosophical divide.

Looking for a Ship

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1429958111

Category: Transportation

Page: 242

View: 8186

Release On

This is an extraordinary tale of life on the high seas aboard one of the last American merchant ships, the S.S. Stella Lykes, on a forty-two-day journey from Charleston down the Pacific coast of South America. As the crew of the Stella Lykes makes their ocean voyage, they tell stories of other runs and other ships, tales of disaster, stupidity, greed, generosity, and courage.

The John McPhee Reader

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374708584

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 385

View: 4974

Release On

The John McPhee Reader, first published in 1976, is comprised of selections from the author's first twelve books. In 1965, John McPhee published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are; a decade later, he had published eleven others. His fertility, his precision and grace as a stylist, his wit and uncanny brilliance in choosing subject matter, his crack storytelling skills have made him into one of our best writers: a journalist whom L.E. Sissman ranked with Liebling and Mencken, who Geoffrey Wolff said "is bringing his work to levels that have no measurable limit," who has been called "a master craftsman" so many times that it is pointless to number them.

Uncommon Carriers

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780865477391

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 256

View: 1517

Release On

McPhee, in prose distinguished by its warm humor, keen insight, and rich sense of human character, looks at the people who drive trucks, captain ships, pilot towboats, drive coal trains, and carry lobsters through the air: people who work in freight transportation.

Talk Thai

The Adventures of Buddhist Boy

Author: Ira Sukrungruang

Publisher: University of Missouri Press

ISBN: 9780826272102

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 184

View: 3993

Release On

On one side of the door, the rich smell of sweet, spicy food and the calm of Buddhist devotion; on the other, the strangeness of a new land. When Ira Sukrungruang was born to Thai parents newly arrived in the U.S., they picked his Jewish moniker out of a book of “American” names. In this lively, entertaining, and often hilarious memoir, he relates the early life of a first-generation Thai-American and his constant, often bumbling attempts to reconcile cultural and familial expectations with the trials of growing up in 1980s America. Young Ira may have lived in Oak Lawn, Illinois, but inside the family’s bi-level home was “Thailand with American conveniences.” They ate Thai food, spoke the Thai language, and observed Thai customs. His bedtime stories were tales of Buddha and monkey-faced demons. On the first day of school his mother reminded him that he had a Siamese warrior’s eyes—despite his thick glasses—as Aunty Sue packed his Muppets lunch box with fried rice. But when his schoolmates played tag he was always It, and as he grew, he faced the constant challenge of reconciling American life with a cardinal family rule: “Remember, you are Thai.” Inside the Thai Buddhist temple of Chicago, another “simulated Thailand,” are more rules, rules different from those of the Southside streets, and we see mainstream Western religion—“god people”—through the Sukrungruang family’s eyes. Within the family circle, we meet a mother who started packing for her return to Thailand the moment she arrived; her best friend, Aunty Sue, Ira’s second mother, who lives with and cooks for the family; and a wayward father whose dreams never quite pan out. Talk Thai is a richly told account that takes us into an immigrant’s world. Here is a story imbued with Thai spices and the sensibilities of an American upbringing, a story in which Ira practices English by reciting lines from TV sitcoms and struggles with the feeling of not belonging in either of his two worlds. For readers who delight in the writings of Amy Tan, Gish Jen, and other Asian-Americans, Talk Thai provides generous portions of a still-mysterious culture while telling the story of an American boyhood with humor, playfulness, and uncompromising honesty.

The Last Draft

A Novelist's Guide to Revision

Author: Sandra Scofield

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143131354

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 272

View: 3492

Release On

The definitive handbook for the novelist who is ready to revise This wise and friendly guide shows writers how to turn first-draft manuscripts into the novels of their dreams. A critic, longtime teacher, and award-winning novelist, Sandra Scofield illustrates how to reread a work of fiction with a view of its subject and vision, and how to take it apart and put it back together again, stronger and deeper. Scofield builds her explanations around helpful concepts like narrative structure, character agency, and core scenes, using models from classic and contemporary writers. The detailed, step-by-step plan laid out in The Last Draft offers invaluable advice to both novice and experienced writers alike. In Scofield, they will find a seasoned, encouraging mentor to steer them through this emotional and intellectual journey.

Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, Or Article (Large Print 16pt)

Author: Howard S. Becker

Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com

ISBN: 1459605551

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 326

View: 7845

Release On

Students and researchers all write under pressure, and those pressures - most lamentably, the desire to impress your audience rather than to communicate with them - often lead to pretentious prose, academic posturing, and, not infrequently, writer's block. Sociologist Howard S. Becker has written the classic book on how to conquer these pressures and simply write. First published nearly twenty years ago, Writing for Social Scientists has become a lifesaver for writers in all fields, from beginning students to published authors. Becker's message is clear; in order to learn how to write, take a deep breath and then begin writing. Revise. Repeat. It is not always an easy process, as Becker wryly relates. Decades of teaching, researching, and writing have given him plenty of material, and Becker neatly exposes the foibles of academia and its ''publish or perish'' atmosphere. Wordiness, the passive voice, inserting a ''the way in which'' when a simple ''how'' will do - all these mechanisms are a part of the social structure of academic writing. By shrugging off such impediments - or at the very least, putting them aside for a few hours - we can reform our work habits and start writing lucidly without worrying about grades, peer approval, or the ''literature.''In this new edition, Becker takes account of major changes in the computer tools available to writers today, and also substantially expands his analysis of how academic institutions create problems for them. As competition in academia grows increasingly heated, Writing for Social Scientists will provide solace to a new generation of frazzled, would-be writers.

Light the Dark

Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process

Author: Joe Fassler

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143130846

Category: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES

Page: 352

View: 7445

Release On

What inspires you? That's the simple, but profound question posed to 46 renowned authors in LIGHT THE DARK, each one revealing what gets them started and what keeps them going with the creative work they love. Collects the best of The Atlantic's much-acclaimed 'By Heart' series and adds brand new pieces from writers like Marilynne Robinson and Junot Diaz. Contributors include Neil Gaiman, Roxane Gay, Elizabeth Gilbert, Mary Gaitskill, Nell Zink, Michael Chabon and many more.

The Survival of the Bark Canoe

Author: John McPhee

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374708592

Category: Social Science

Page: 160

View: 6927

Release On

In Greenville, New Hampshire, a small town in the southern part of the state, Henri Vaillancourt makes birch-bark canoes in the same manner and with the same tools that the Indians used. The Survival of the Bark Canoe is the story of this ancient craft and of a 150-mile trip through the Maine woods in those graceful survivors of a prehistoric technology. It is a book squarely in the tradition of one written by the first tourist in these woods, Henry David Thoreau, whose The Maine Woods recounts similar journeys in similar vessel. As McPhee describes the expedition he made with Vaillancourt, he also traces the evolution of the bark canoe, from its beginnings through the development of the huge canoes used by the fur traders of the Canadian North Woods, where the bark canoe played the key role in opening up the wilderness. He discusses as well the differing types of bark canoes, whose construction varied from tribe to tribe, according to custom and available materials. In a style as pure and as effortless as the waters of Maine and the glide of a canoe, John McPhee has written one of his most fascinating books, one in which his talents as a journalist are on brilliant display.

Do I Make Myself Clear?

Why Writing Well Matters

Author: Harold Evans

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 031643230X

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 416

View: 6831

Release On

*New York Times Bestseller * One of NPR's Best Books of 2017 A wise and entertaining guide to writing English the proper way by one of the greatest newspaper editors of our time. Harry Evans has edited everything from the urgent files of battlefield reporters to the complex thought processes of Henry Kissinger. He's even been knighted for his services to journalism. In DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?, he brings his indispensable insight to us all in his definite guide to writing well. The right words are oxygen to our ideas, but the digital era, with all of its TTYL, LMK, and WTF, has been cutting off that oxygen flow. The compulsion to be precise has vanished from our culture, and in writing of every kind we see a trend towards more--more speed and more information but far less clarity. Evans provides practical examples of how editing and rewriting can make for better communication, even in the digital age. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR? is an essential text, and one that will provide every writer an editor at his shoulder.

California

A Novel

Author: Edan Lepucki

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316250821

Category: Fiction

Page: 400

View: 2443

Release On

The highly acclaimed, instant New York Times bestseller that "shows the moment-by-moment reality of a painful possible future, the price we may have to pay for our passionate devotion to all of the wrong things." --Sarah Stone, San Francisco Chronicle The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they've left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable in the face of hardship and isolation. Mourning a past they can't reclaim, they seek solace in each other. But the tentative existence they've built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she's pregnant. Terrified of the unknown and unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses dangers of its own. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust. A gripping and provocative debut novel by a stunning new talent, California imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind's dark nature and deep-seated resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love.