Tabula Rasa: Volume 1

Written by:
John McPhee
Narrated by:
Grover Gardner

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
July 2023
6 hours 8 minutes
Over seven decades, John McPhee has set a standard for literary nonfiction.

Assaying mountain ranges, bark canoes, experimental aircraft, the Swiss Army, geophysical hot spots, ocean shipping, shad fishing, and dissident art in the Soviet Union, among myriad other subjects, he has consistently written narrative pieces of immaculate design.

In Tabula Rasa, McPhee looks back at his career from the vantage point of his desk drawer, reflecting wryly upon projects he began but never completed or published. Collected and augmented, these pieces form a “reminiscent montage” of a writing life. This volume includes, among
other things, a frosty encounter with Thornton Wilder, interrogative dinners with Henry Luce, glimpses of the allure of western Spain, fireworks over the East River as seen from Malcolm Forbes’s yacht, the evolving inclinations of the Tower of Pisa, the islands in the river delta of central
California, teaching in a pandemic, and persuading The New Yorker to publish an entire book on oranges. The result is a fresh survey of McPhee’s singular planet.
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