A giant in the nonfiction world will appear at the Kansas City Public Library on March 29. The Writers at Work series has scheduled an evening with Pulitzer Prize winner John McPhee.
In 1965, McPhee published a profile of Bill Bradley in The New Yorker, which continues to print his work. In fact, the magazine's current editor, David Remnick, took the writing class McPhee teaches at Princeton University.
The environment is one of McPhee's favorite subjects. He draws on "innate powers of description, lucid exposition and easy rapport with his subjects" in the words of writer Kevin Kerrane.
Writing about a dam builder, McPhee came up with this:
McPhee will speak at the Central Library at 6:30 p.m. A 30-minute reception precedes the talk.
In the view of conservationists, there is something special about dams,
something -- as conservation problems go -- that is disproportionately
and metaphysically sinister. The outermost circle of the Devil's world seems to be a moat filled mainly with DDT. Next to it is a moat of burning gasoline. Within that is a ring of pinheads each covered with a million people -- and so on past phalanxed bulldozers and bicuspid chain saws into the absolute epicenter of Hell on earth, where stands a dam.