Finnegan, William,

Barbarian days : a surfing life / William Finnegan. - 447 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm

Off Diamond Head (Honolulu, 1966-67) -- Smell the ocean (California, ca. 1956-65) -- The shock of the new (California, 1968) -- 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky (Maui, 1971) -- The search (The South Pacific, 1978) -- The lucky country (Australia, 1978-79) -- Choosing Ethiopia (Asia, Africa, 1979-81) -- Against dereliction (San Francisco, 1983-86) -- Basso profundo (Madeira, 1994-2003) -- The mountains fall into the heart of the sea (New York City, 2002-15).

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 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 whites-only gang in a tough school in Honolulu even while his closest friend was a native 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.

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, 2016

0143109391 9780143109396


Finnegan, William.
Finnegan, William.


Surfers--United States--Biography.
Surfing.
Surfers.


United States.


Autobiographies.
Biography.
Autobiographies.

GV838.F58 / A3 2016

797.3/2092 B