William Finnegan

Fall 2017

The Martha Heasley Cox Lecture

William Finnegan is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography for Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, also chosen as a Best Book of 2015 by Publishers Weekly. In addition, he is the author of Cold New WorldA Complicated WarDateline Soweto, and Crossing the Line. He has twice been a National Magazine Award finalist and has won numerous journalism awards, including two Overseas Press Club awards since 2009. A staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987, he lives in Manhattan.

November 8, 7pm — Reading & Conversation with Steve Kettmann, Café Stritch, reception to follow with cash bar.

Purchase tickets here!







Barbarian Days is more than just a memoir of great waves discovered and ridden. It is a story of family, friendships, love, coming-of-age, and the gradual mastering of an exacting, little-understood art, told with such lyricism and insight that even non-surfers will be swept along for the ride.”
— Penguin Random House, Speakers Bureau

“Few writers have ever really done the act of riding waves the justice that surfers believe it deserves; lifelong surfer and New Yorker staff writer William Finnegan is one of them though, and … the surf world applauded his 2015 memoirs Barbarian Days.”
— Surf Simply

“Without a doubt, the finest surf book I’ve ever read . . . But on a more fundamental level, Barbarian Days offers a clear-eyed vision of American boyhood. Like Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, it is a sympathetic examination of what happens when literary ideas of freedom and purity take hold of a young mind and fling his body out into the far reaches of the world.”
 —The New York Times Magazine

All events are open to the public and wheelchair accessible.