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About this product
- DescriptionThe title piece of this collection resulted from a casual conversation in which a friend of John McPhee's told him that he had recently been in Nevada and had seen at a remote crossroads a white vehicle with whirling red-and-blue roof lights and the Nevada state seal on the door. Above the seal, where he expected to see the words State Police, he saw the words Brand Inspector. This suggested to him that cattle rustling was t just history in Nevada. He told McPhee that he had thought of him, and what a reporter might learn if he spent a few weeks in that vehicle. The conversation took place in New Jersey. Virtually the same day, the author departed for Nevada. The differing contents of this book reflect the variety in the overall span of McPhee's work - compositions that have in common only and essentially the fact that they are about real people in real places. The longest piece, called The Gravel Page, is about forensic geology - insights from the science as they are used to help solve major crimes and puzzles on an even greater scale. The shortest piece - Rinard at Manheim - is an experimental story about an auction of exotic cars, in which the interviewee, Rinard, takes over the narrative while McPhee's remarks are confined to brackets. Items as unlikely as a virgin forest in central New Jersey, a blind writer-professor working at his computer, and a mountain of scrap tires (forty-four million scrap tires) in California shape the scenes and substance of other pieces. Not to mention Plymouth Rock. Travels of the Rock, which ends the book, is about a day when the State of Massachusetts had to call in a mason to repair the nation's most hallowed lithic relic. McPhee stood in th pit with the mason in Plymouth and watched the attentive public leaning on the railings above. Travels of the Rock is a blend of colonial history, paleogeography, radiometric dating, societal drift, tectonic theory, schoolkids by the busload, and Mayflower descendants in leath
- Author BiographyJohn McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and was educated at Princeton University and Cambridge University. His writing career began at Time magazine and led to his long association with The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1965. Also in 1965, he published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are, with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and in the years since, he has written nearly 30 books, including Oranges (1967), Coming into the Country (1977), The Control of Nature (1989), The Founding Fish (2002), Uncommon Carriers (2007), and Silk Parachute (2011). Encounters with the Archdruid (1972) and The Curve of Binding Energy (1974) were nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science. McPhee received the Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977. In 1999, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Annals of the Former World. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
- Author(s)John McPhee
- PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
- Date of Publication30/04/1998
- FormatPaperback / softback
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintFarrar, Straus and Giroux
- Content Noteillustrations
- Weight249 g
- Width139 mm
- Height210 mm
- Spine16 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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