William Finnegan, interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle's John Diaz.
"I was reluctant to come out as a surfer," says William Finnegan, about his memoir "Barbarian Days." The celebrated New Yorker staff writer, who has made his reputation reporting from some of the most war-torn places on earth, will compare journalism with writing this lyrical, existential book about his secret and abiding passion, surfing. The New York Review of Books delivered a glowing review of "Barbarian Days," calling it "an utterly convincing study in the joy of treating seriously an unserious thing." "Barbarian Days" was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for the Biography/Autobiography category.
John Diaz is the Editorial page editor for the San Francisco Chronicle.
The author of "Cold New World," "A Complicated War," "Dateline Soweto," and "Crossing the Line," William Finnegan has twice been a National Magazine Award finalist and has won numerous journalism awards, including two Overseas Press Club awards since 2009. His new memoir, "Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life," was listed by Time magazine as one of the best nonfiction books of 2015 and described in that magazine as "...a riveting adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, and a restless, searching meditation on love, friendship and family." A staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987, Finnegan lives in Manhattan.