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Draft No. 4

Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process

John McPhee

The long-awaited guide to writing long-form non-fiction by the legendary author and teacher.

In Draft No. 4 John McPhee shares insights he has gathered over his long career, and has refined while teaching at Princeton University, where he has nurtured some of the most highly regarded writers of our time. He discusses structure, diction and tone, observing that ‘readers are not supposed to notice the structure. It is meant to be about as visible as someone’s bones’.

This book is a vivid depiction of the writing process, enriched by personal reflections on the life of a writer. Everything in this luminous book is enlivened by McPhee’s keen sense of writing as a way of being in the world.

INTERVIEWS

New York Times talks to John McPhee
PRI, Studio 360 
Lit Hub

REVIEWS

Washington Post ($)
New York Times
Christian Science Monitor
New Republic
Princeton Echo
Portland Press Herald

About the Author

John McPhee is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He is the author of thirty-two books. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Read Moreright
Extent:
208pp
Format:
Paperback
Text publication date:
20 November 2017
ISBN:
9781925603651
AU Price:
$29.99
NZ Price:
$37.00
Categories:
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Praise for John McPhee
andDraft No. 4

Draft No. 4 belongs on the short shelf of essential books about the craft.’

‘Matchless teaching from a master of the form—seductive, trustworthy and endearingly modest.’

‘A master class in writing … Almost every sentence sparkles … A superb book.’

‘Eight crisply instructive and drolly self-deprecating essays [are] gathered here in this exceptionally entertaining and illuminating book … [Draft No. 4] is expert, charming, and invigorating.’

‘McPhee has set the standard for the genre of creative nonfiction … With humor and aplomb, he recalls anecdotes about how he approached a story: from interviewing and reporting to drafting and revising, to working with editors and publishers … A well-wrought road map to navigating the twists and turns, thrills and pitfalls, and joys and sorrows of the writer’s journey.’ 

‘[Draft No. 4 is] not a general how-to-do-it manual but a personal how-I-did-it of richer depth—not bouillon cubes, but rich stock … McPhee lays it all out with the wit of one who believes that ‘writing has to be fun at least once in a pale blue moon.’

Other editions ofDraft No. 4
  • Draft No. 4
    ebook
    ISBN: 9781925626704
    20 November 2017
    Buy ebook