The McPhee Sisters

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First there were the Bronte sisters, now there are the McPhees’. Their father John McPhee is one of the most respected writers in America. He told his daughters not to follow in his footsteps. As children they saw the hard work and dedication required to be a successful writer, but they also saw the delight he took in his work and eventually, they all ignored his warning.

Now that they are established artists they say it had as much to do with the passion and strong will of their mother, and a healthy level of sisterly competition. The parents, they say, showed them how to take risks but it was the close bonds with each other that helped keep them going.

Today we will hear from three of the sisters: Laura, Jenny and Martha about what it was like growing up McPhee, where they got their inspiration and how they found their own voice in a family that was so creative.


Jenny McPhee, author of “No Ordinary Matter,” “Girls: Ordinary Girls and Their Extraordinary Pursuits” and “The Center of Things”

Laura McPhee, photography books include “No Ordinary Land” and “Girls: Ordinary Girls and Their Extraordinary Pursuits”

Martha McPhee, author of “Gorgeous Lies,” “Girls: Ordinary Girls and Their Extraordinary Pursuits”and “Bright Angel Time.”