17. John McPhee’s Oranges


Oranges is one of 26 books by Ferris Professor of Journalism John McPhee ’53.  This former New Yorker contributor won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Annals of the Former World, a 700-page geological tour of North America that took the author nearly 20 years to complete.  When McPhee learned of this award during a break in a three-hour undergraduate seminar, he returned to class without mentioning the prestigious honor because he was concerned with finishing the remaining material—an attitude typical of this veteran teacher, according to his students.  McPhee embarked upon his writing career as an undergraduate, serving as the managing editor of Tiger Magazine and “On the Campus” columnist of the Princeton Alumni Weekly.  He has taught at Princeton since 1975 and received the University’s Woodrow Wilson Award in 1982.  Another of McPhee’s famous books is quoted on the walls of the Frist Campus Center.