Talk Story with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Surf Memoirist William Finnegan

From Kaimukī Intermediate student to “New Yorker” conflict reporter, it’s been quite a ride for the author of “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life.”
William Finnegan Barbarian Days


William Finnegan first navigated tricky cultural currents as a student at Kaimukī Intermediate and surfer; he then spent a chunk of his 20s living rough while hunting waves around the world. Those skills served him well later as a star conflict reporter for The New Yorker, risking his neck in South Africa, Mozambique, Mexico and, last month, Venezuela.


Hear how Finnegan struggles with the tension of being a surf addict who has a serious job—and a family—this week Wednesday at Books & Spirits, a literary salon that couples imaginative cocktails and pūpū with noted authors. He’ll tell tales from his 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, and sign copies.


This will be the third in a series of talks hosted by Books & Spirits and held at RevoluSun Smart Home at 210 Ward Ave., Suite 140. You can attend the catered author reception from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. for $25; the $20 general admission starts at 7 p.m. and runs to 8:30 ($15 in advance from here). One more point of local pride: Last week Finnegan copped the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award—the richest and most prestigious sports writing prize in the world, given by the London bookmaker.