He doesn’t mind if you call surfing nuts. © 2008 - 2020 INTERESTING.COM, INC. Childhood offers a window to learn, something about neural pathways, and by around 14 it closes, said Finnegan. “Dare I say that we all need Mr Finnegan ... as a role model for a life fully, thrillingly, lived,” trilled the Wall Street Journal. Plus it’s quite hard on the body and Irish skin. “You’re performing.”. William Finnegan, born the eldest of four children to Patricia and Bill Finnegan in New York City in 1952 is an international journalist and staff writer at The New Yorker. “Writing about surfing seemed indulgent and silly. William Finnegan in Grajagan, Java, 1979. he Beach Boys still provide summer’s soundtrack but headlines suggest it’s not a great time to be surfing. He grew up on the island (the son of a producer of the TV show Hawaii Five-O), and then went on an odyssey through Sumatra, Australia, Madagascar and Fiji, where he and a friend discovered a now legendary wave. “I was reluctant to come out of the closet as a surfer.”. The seeming impossibility of making a surfing movie that isn’t laughably bad is an interesting question.” Writing about it – orienting the reader in an alien environment, giving them a stake in the outcome - is not easy either, he noted. But not too late to have fun in the right setting.”. The bar is very low.”, Bad news to anyone aged over 14 who is reading this: if you are not already a good surfer, forget it. I remember what close friends he and my dad were. “But I don’t think my choices were so bad, ultimately.”, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life is out now via Penguin Press, Storms, sharks and sheep … a trip up Western Australia’s Ningaloo coast, William Finnegan: 'I was reluctant to come out of the closet as a surfer'. War and peace, life and death, policy failures and injustice: serious topics treated with a social conscience and a distinctive brand of granular, brainy reportage. “It nestles between yoga and golf. Surfing, said Finnegan, who speaks almost as precisely as he writes, creates a tension in the struggle to become a citizen, a responsible grown-up. I don’t want her to be swallowed up.”, And yet surfing has threaded and enriched beyond measure his own life. It took him 20 years, on and off, to write Barbarian Days. It can take over your life.”. Brother of William Finnigan; Margaret Eileen Aston; Mary Ellen Hannigan; Katherine Veronica Finnegan; Maurice Patrick Finnegan and 7 others; Hannah Elizabeth Wells; Agnes Finnegan; Daniel Michael Finnegan; Teresa Susannah Mahony; John Dennis Finnegan; Desmond Joseph Finnegan and Ellen Jan Fowler « less. He has been surfing for half a century, chasing waves all over the world, and has returned with a tale of enchantment, obsession, terror and transcendence. He excavated letters, journals and postcards, interviewed old friends and girlfriends. “It was a big joke to all surfers. And he, more than anyone, should know. Landlubbers may conclude you need to to be slightly unhinged to entrust – let alone devote – your life to a thin slab of fibreglass in the watery unknown. If you get bitten in a serious way you have to manage it. Some of my most vivid memories turned out to be inaccurate, or at least challenged by others who were there.”, He emerged with a mixed view of the young man who for so long prioritised waves. There has been a spate of high-profile shark attacks on surfers in the US, Australia and South Africa. “Yeah,” smiled Finnegan, seated in a sun-drenched bar in Santa Monica, the Pacific Ocean crashing ashore in the distance. This FINNEGAN index was pre-built so it loads quickly. [12] Joe Biden is the oldest of four siblings in a Catholic family, followed by his younger sister [Mary] Valerie Biden Owens and two younger brothers, Francis William "Frank" Biden and James Brian "Jim" Biden. “If the book has a flaw, it lies in the envy helplessly induced in the armchair surf-traveler,” pined the New York Times, echoing a wistful refrain among reviewers.