The Patch

The Patch

by John McPhee
The Patch

The Patch

by John McPhee


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The Patch is an “album quilt,” an artful assortment of nonfiction writings by John McPhee that have not previously appeared in any book

The Patch is the seventh collection of essays by the nonfiction master. It is divided into two parts. Part 1, “The Sporting Scene,” consists of pieces on fishing, football, golf, and lacrosse—from fly casting for chain pickerel in fall in New Hampshire to walking the linksland of St. Andrews at an Open Championship. Part 2, called “An Album Quilt,” is a montage of fragments of varying length from pieces done across the years that have never appeared in book form—occasional pieces, memorial pieces, reflections, reminiscences, and short items in various magazines including The New Yorker. They range from a visit to the Hershey chocolate factory to encounters with Oscar Hammerstein, Joan Baez, and Mount Denali.

Emphatically, the author’s purpose was not merely to preserve things but to choose passages that might entertain contemporary readers. Starting with 250,000 words, he gradually threw out 75 percent of them, and randomly assembled the remaining fragments into “an album quilt.” Among other things, The Patch is a covert memoir.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250234889
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 11/19/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 406,179
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

John McPhee is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Draft No. 4, Table of Contents, Silk Parachute, and The Survival of the Bark Canoe among many other books. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.


Princeton, New Jersey

Date of Birth:

March 8, 1931

Place of Birth:

Princeton, New Jersey


A.B., Princeton University, 1953; graduate study at Cambridge University, 1953-54

Table of Contents


Part I: The Sporting Scene
The Patch 3
Phi Beta Football 13
The Orange Trapper 23
Linksland and Bottle 41
Pioneer 75
Direct Eye Contact 87

Part II: An Album Quilt
An Album Quilt 99

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