“Fresh, whole round oranges are hardly extinct, of course, but they have seen better days since they left the garden of the Hesperides.”
— John McPhee, Oranges, 1967
I love oranges. When I was working as a summer associate at the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, I would read pages of McPhee’s classic book on oranges each morning. I swear my roommate at the time was convinced I was too strange to deal with because of that habit. “Oranges!! It’s just a book about fruit?” Dressed in a black suit and silky cream blouse, she screwed up her face in irritation. “Yes, it is,” I replied. I’ve always found oranges magical: Beautifully colored, they hold up well in a bag and can be neatly unpacked, slice by slice. McPhee became a seer for me that year.