My academic province is the 18th century, especially Samuel Johnson. I’m currently working on William Cobbett, the great 19th-century agricultural and political reformer. I’ve been teaching and thinking about nonfiction creative writing since 1982, as well as publishing essays and articles in many places, includingThe New Yorker, Harper’s, and National Geographic. Since joining the editorial board of the New York Times in 1997, my interests have left the ark and multiplied. I write about cultural issues of all sorts. I pay close attention to questions of public land use, especially in the American West, and species protection and extinction. And I write about farms—the industrial kind and my own small farm in New York state. I seem always to be thinking about sailing these days, though my next book will be about the decade I spent working with horse trainers in Wyoming and Montana.
–Making Hay (Vintage, 1986)
–The Last Fine Time (Knopf, 1992; reissued by University of Chicago Press)
–The Rural Life (Little Brown, 2003)
–Timothy: Or, Notes of an Abject Reptile (Knopf, 2006)
–Several Short Sentences About Writing (Knopf, 2012)
–More Scenes From A Rural Life (Princeton Architectural Press, Spring 2013)