Maclean uses his little car without lugging the engine; he doesn’t have to stop talking to shift. He understands the car, but then, he understands the canned peaches in his refrigerator. He can tell you where in Oregon they come from, how they’re canned, and maybe what is done with the pits. He knows his furniture, each of his trees, every log in his cabin—faults and graces—all on a personal basis. He knows everything he touches. Knowing what has touched him has been harder.
—Pete Dexter on Norman Maclean