William Finnegan: a surfer for life | Photo: William Finnegan

William Finnegan has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize (Biography or Autobiography) for his "Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life."

The New York writer's surf book was considered a "finely crafted memoir of a youthful obsession" by the Pulitzer Prize Board. Finnegan takes home $10,000 and one of the most prestigious awards in Arts and Letters.

In "Barbarian Days," the Pulitzer winner describes "a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life." Despite being raised between California and Hawaii, William surfed all continents.

The award-winning book reveals his stories in and out of the waves, his LSD experience on a big day at Honolua Bay, his fights, the racist days, and how he interacted with the world of surfing, in Honolulu, during the 1960s.

"Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life" is also a personal anthropological analysis of the most remote spots which include Samoa, Tonga, Madagascar, and Indonesia. The habits, the cultures, the behaviors, and the surf.

Surfing is part of William Finnegan's life. You can clearly understand that after reading the book. Because surfing, as he puts it, is an "enchantment."

William Finnegan has been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1984 and a staff writer since 1987.

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