John McPhee

Yolanda Whitman/ Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux 

Among serious nonfiction writers of the last several decades, John McPhee is one of the heroes.

He is really the godfather of a certain kind of long-form, creative non-fiction, and over the past half-century, he’s written over 100 articles for The New Yorker magazine. McPhee is particularly well known for his writing on nature: "Encounters with the Archdruid," "The Pine Barrens" and "Coming into the Country."

Since 1975, McPhee has also been teaching writing and journalism at Princeton, where he has inspired and influenced generations of journalists and writers. Now you don’t have to be a Princeton student to learn from the master: McPhee’s latest book, “Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process,” is part memoir and part tutorial for aspiring writers.

McPhee sits down with Kurt Andersen to talk about the book and share some stories from his years of experience. 

Related Stories