John 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.
"McPhee brings to his book about the island of Colonsay in the Scottish Hebrides a visual precision and a grace of language that are quite rare." --Harper's"A small masterpiece of penetrating warmth and perception." --Charles Eliot, Time"One always has the sense with McPhee of a man at a pitch of pleasure in his work, a natural at it, finding out on behalf of the rest of us how some portion of the world works." --Edward Hoagland, The New York Times