William Finnegan

  • William Finnegan a passé sa vie à naviguer entre les théâtres d'opération et les vagues, une existence entre deux eaux qu'il a racontée dans un livre inoubliable et merveilleux : Jours Barbares. À la naissance de sa fille Mollie, il s'est rangé des planches. À ses douze ans, lorsqu'elle se révèle une grimpeuse-née, l'écrivain-reporter décide de la suivre dans son apprentissage. Tandis que Mollie endosse le rôle d'entraîneur et de mentor, voire de gourou, son père se doit de repousser sans cesse ses limites pour suivre son rythme, bousculant quelque peu la dynamique parent-enfant. Il raconte alors l'escalade comme l'envers de sa propre obsession pour l'eau, non plus la quête éperdue de ces «montagnes qui chancellent au milieu de l'océan», mais la recherche frénétique de vagues tortueuses en forme de pics à gravir. À travers ce récit d'initiation, William Finnegan nous guide dans le monde singulier de la grimpe - des salles d'escalade de New York ou des blocs de Central Park aux parois rocheuses du Vermont ou aux falaises du Mexique et du Canada. Mollie, adolescente douce et ironique, ouvre la voie, et ce qui commence comme un passe-temps pour le père et la fille devient vite une obsession où toute occasion est bonne pour enfiler les chaussons et attaquer les «problèmes'' sur le mur ou les «itinéraires'' sur la paroi. Ensemble, ils apprennent un nouveau langage et se forgent de nouveaux souvenirs. À mesure qu'ils se lancent dans des ascensions toujours plus hautes et toujours plus délicates, ils font aussi l'apprentissage d'une notion cardinale : l'expérience du danger, ce que les grimpeurs nomment l'exposition. Et en creux, une leçon de vie simple mais décisive : tomber, c'est être humain.

    Formidable plongée dans le monde de l'escalade, Avec Mollie offre un regard tendre, bienveillant sur cette relation unique entre un père et une fille.

  • Bien plus qu'un sport, le surf est un art de vivre. D'Hawaï à la Californie, William Finnegan grandit entre le paradis et l'enfer des vagues. Gamin aventureux, il devient écrivain, reporter de guerre et traque les spots aux quatre coins du globe. De l'océan il fait son échappatoire et une source d'émerveillement, loin des vanités du monde. Une inoubliable ode à l'enfance, à l'amitié et à la famille.

  • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY 2016 WINNER OF THE 2016 WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR PRIZE Surfing 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

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