William Finnegan

  • Le surf ressemble à Un sport, un passe-temps. Pour ses initiés, c'est bien plus : une addiction merveilleuse, une initiation exigeante, un art de vivre. Elevé en Californie et à Hawaï, William Finnegan a commencé le surf enfant. Après l'université, il a traqué les vagues aux quatre coins du monde, errant des îles Fidji à l'Indonésie, des plages bondées de Los Angeles aux déserts australiens, des townships de Johannesburg aux falaises de l'île de Madère. D'un gamin aventureux, passionné de littérature, il devint un écrivain, un reporter de guerre pour le New Yorker. À travers ses mémoires, il dépeint une vie à contre-courant, à la recherche d'une autre voie, au-delà des canons de la réussite, de l'argent et du carriérisme ; et avec une infinie pudeur se dessine le portrait d'un homme qui aura trouvé dans son rapport à l'océan une échappatoire au monde et une source constante d'émerveillement. Ode à l'enfance, à l'amitié et à la famille, Jours Barbares formule une éthique de vie, entre le paradis et l'enfer des vagues, où l'océan apparaît toujours comme un purgatoire. Un livre rare dont on ne ressort pas tout à fait indemne, entre Hell's Angels de Hunter S. Thompson et Into The Wild de Jon Krakauer.
    William Finnegan a acquis ses galons de journaliste lors de la guerre civile au Soudan, en Afrique du Sud pendant l'Apartheid, dans les Balkans ou à Mogadiscio. Ses reportages sur les théâtres d'opérations sont le fruit de longues immersions et de patientes observations, ou, comme il aime à le résumer : "Je fouine, je parle aux gens, j'attends.' Il a reçu en 2016 pour Jours Barbares le prestigieux Prix Pulitzer.

  • New Yorker writer William Finnegan spent time with families in four communities across America and became an intimate observer of the lives he reveals in these beautifully rendered portraits: a fifteen-year-old drug dealer in blighted New Haven, Connecticut; a sleepy Texas town transformed by crack; Mexican American teenagers in Washington State, unable to relate to their immigrant parents and trying to find an identity in gangs; jobless young white supremacists in a downwardly mobile L.A. suburb. Important, powerful, and compassionate, Cold New World gives us an unforgettable look into a present that presages our future.
    A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
    A Los Angeles Times Best Nonfiction of 1998 selection
    One of the Voice Literary Supplement's Twenty-five Favorite Books of 1998
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • **Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography**
    *Included in President Obama’s 2016 Summer Reading List*
    A deeply rendered self-portrait of a lifelong surfer by the acclaimed New Yorker writerBarbarian Days is William Finnegan’s memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life. Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a distinguished writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses--off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships annealed in challenging waves.Finnegan shares stories of life in a whitesonly gang in a tough school in Honolulu even while his closest friend was a Hawaiian surfer. He shows us a world turned upside down for kids and adults alike by the social upheavals of the 1960s. He details the intricacies of famous waves and his own apprenticeships to them. Youthful folly--he drops LSD while riding huge Honolua Bay, on Maui--is served up with rueful humor. He and a buddy, their knapsacks crammed with reef charts, bushwhack through Polynesia. They discover, while camping on an uninhabited island in Fiji, one of the world’s greatest waves. As Finnegan’s travels take him ever farther afield, he becomes an improbable anthropologist: unpicking the picturesque simplicity of a Samoan fishing village, dissecting the sexual politics of Tongan interactions with Americans and Japanese, navigating the Indonesian black market while nearly succumbing to malaria. Throughout, he surfs, carrying readers with him on rides of harrowing, unprecedented lucidity.Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, a social history, a literary road movie, and an extraordinary exploration of the gradual mastering of an exacting, little understood art. Today, Finnegan’s surfing life is undiminished. Frantically juggling work and family, he chases his enchantment through Long Island ice storms and obscure corners of Madagascar.

  • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY 2016Surfing only looks like a sport. To devotees, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a mental and physical study, a passionate way of life. William Finnegan first started surfing as a young boy in California and Hawaii. Barbarian Days is his immersive memoir of a life spent travelling the world chasing waves through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa and beyond. Finnegan describes the edgy yet enduring brotherhood forged among the swell of the surf; and recalling his own apprenticeship to the world's most famous and challenging waves, he considers the intense relationship formed between man, board and water.Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, a social history, an extraordinary exploration of one man's gradual mastering of an exacting and little-understood art. It is a memoir of dangerous obsession and enchantment.