Awards National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship 

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship

2002 nomination for a National Book Award




Praise for Dear Money

Dear Money Book Trailer

Purchase Dear Money

In this Pygmalion tale of a novelist turned bond trader, Martha McPhee brings to life the greed and riotous wealth of New York during the heady days of the second gilded age. India Palmer, living the cash-strapped existence of the writer, is visiting wealthy friends in Maine when a yellow biplane swoops down from the clear blue sky to bring a stranger into her life, one who will change everything. The stranger is Win Johns, a swaggering and intellectually bored trader of mortgage-backed securities. Charmed by India’s intelligence, humor, and inquisitive nature—and aware of her near-desperate financial situation—Win poses a proposition: “Give me eighteen months and I’ll make you a world-class bond trader.” Shedding her artist’s life with surprising ease, India embarks on a raucous ride to the top of the income chain, leveraging herself with crumbling real estate, never once looking back . . . Or does she? With a light-handed irony that is by turns as measured as Claire Messud’s and as biting as Tom Wolfe’s, Martha McPhee tells the classic American story of people reinventing themselves, unaware of the price they must pay for their transformation.



Praise for L’America

Purchase L’America

Beth and Cesare meet in Greece, she an American dreamer and he an Italian heir. Their love affair begins in the warmth and brilliance of the Aegean Sea. As their passion spans time and continents, their lives are forever entangled–their love a dizzying, exquisite story of culture, and the bonds we cannot break.



Praise for Gorgeous Lies

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Charismatic therapist Anton Furey is dying, and the tribe he heads–his five children, his wife’s three, and their uniting child, Alice–has returned to Chardin, the farm where they grew up and played out Anton’s vision of communal living. They had been famous for being the new American blended family, their utopian lifestyle chronicled by film crews and reporters.  But as Anton grows weaker, the hurts and betrayels of those years boil to the surface, and the children find themselves reliving their knotty intimacies as they struggle to make their peace with Anton–and themselves. With shimmering prose and an acutely observant eye, McPhee had created a portrait of a family that explores the limits, and obligations, of love.



Praise forBright Angel Time

Purchase Bright Angel Time

The time is the early 1970s. Eight-year-old Kate and her sisters adopt a life on the road when their divorced mother falls in love with someone new. Introduced to a lifestyle marked by strange freedom, the girls fall into a way of living that is vastly different from the one they knew with their geologist father. And it is with him, amid the beauty of his beloved Grand Canyon, that adult distractions and carelessness finally threaten to explode and ruin Kate’s life. Rich in character, imagery, and humor, and providing a vivid picture of a decade when values and morels were turned upside down, Bright Angel Time is that rarity, a brilliant and moving novel from an authentic talent.

13 Responses to “Books”

  1. 1 Greg McPhee

    It looks as if I’ll have to eventually read them all…
    Angel Time sounds so familiar… Our lives are curiously similar it would appear.
    Morels? Aren’t those mushrooms?


    • 2 marthamcphee

      Dear Greg, Thanks for writing. Where are you located? It’s always funny and wonderful to come across a McPhee I don’t know. Actually, it doesn’t happen at all often. Thanks for commenting here and for your words of support. I’d love to hear how our lives are similar… My best, Martha

  2. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

    • 4 marthamcphee

      Thanks for writing and subscribing. I appreciate the support. Martha

  3. 5 Brian Long

    I’m thoroughly impressed w/ you’re career as an artist. It must be great to make a living doing what you love. Few people can do that. Glad to see you’re doing so well.

    • 6 marthamcphee

      Hi Brian! Thanks for writing, It’s so nice to hear from you. And thank you for the compliment which means a lot right now. I do feel fortunate — though at the moment, exhausted. I hope your well.

  4. Just finished Dear Money and loved it. Blogged about it, too! This would make a great movie.

    • 8 marthamcphee

      Thank you for writing to let me know you enjoyed Dear Money. It means the world to hear from readers.

  5. 9 Anne

    I so enjoyed your book Dear Money. It absolutely resonated with me, my introduction to finance working on a trading desk at Salomon Brothers, at the time of the origination of the mortgage market (CMOs were just being introduced and we were establishing a very basic data base to keep track of all of the issuances, which were beginning to include the IOs, strips, not to mention the “exotic strips” – such funny names.) As one of the very few females in the room, it was quite an experience. And I very much appreciated the trade-offs you note, with the interesting coincidence of us having bought (and sold) a lovely home in Maine (though thankfully by choice, not as a result of mortgage woes). This was the first novel I believe I have read of yours, so now I plan to circle back and find the others! Thank you,

    • Dear Anne, Thank you very much for taking the time to write to me. It means the world to hear from readers and it means even more to hear from you who know the business. I am glad you enjoyed the book. I’m very impressed that you were there at the beginning. It was fascinating to learn about that time through research. Again, thank you. You’ve made my day. Best, Martha

  6. 11 marthamcphee

    Thank you. The highlight for me of Dear Money’s publication was hearing from Barry Mills, the President of Bowdoin College, that he enjoyed the novel.

  1. 1 Let’s Blow It All « Notes from Martha
  2. 2 Barry Mills: What I Read on My Summer Vacation « Bowdoin Daily Sun

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