Saturday, July 24, 2021

Alta Journal's California Book Club Featuring Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, William Finnegan


I enjoyed attending a virtual author event hosted by Alta Journal's California Book Club featuring author, William Finnegan, discussing his 2016 Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir, "Barbarian Days".

I have not read Barbarian Days by William Finnegan yet. But I now definitely want to do so after hearing the author speak about his life as a surfer. As a native Californian, I have lived the majority of my life near the Pacific Ocean. So reading a nonfiction book about surfing sounds like a must.

Below is a blurb about the Alta Journal's California Book Club virtual author event featuring William Finnegan:

"Barbarian Days" author William Finnegan joins author and former pro-surfer Jamie Brisick and CBC host John Freeman for a free, hour-long discussion. 
For New Yorker staff writer William Finnegan, surfing has always been more than a matter of recreation; rather, it is an existential act. In his Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir, "Barbarian Days," he describes the ocean as a capricious deity and explores not just its beauty but also its vast indifference, the dangers that exist beneath the surface of its swells. Tracing a line from boyhood—he learned to surf when he was 10 and honed the art as a teenager in Hawaii—to the present, Finnegan writes of his experiences with a journalist’s nuanced eye. At the center of the book, however, is his own growth and development, in which surfing functions less as metaphor or mirror than as a sort of crucible.

Have you attended any virtual author events recently?


  1. It would be interesting to learn more of the surfing culture in California.

  2. I have not attended any virtual events. I do listen to podcasts with authors occasionally. They add another level of understanding to their books that I read.

    1. Podcasts with authors are wonderful to listen to and you are correct in gaining a new level of understanding from them.