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New Yorker writer William Finnegan leads a counter life as an excessively compulsive surfer. In his deeply lyrical self-portrait and winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize, Barbarian Days, Finnegan chronicles his lifelong adventures from a young man chasing waves all over the world to becoming a distinguished writer and war reporter. Part coming-of-age story, part thriller, part cultural study, Finnegan’s vivid memoir explores the gradual mastering of a little understood art. Join Finnegan as he returns to the Pacific coast to discuss his revelatory pursuit of the perfect wave with David Rensin, author of All For A Few Perfect Waves: The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora.

William Finnegan

William Finnegan is the author of Cold New World, A Complicated War, Dateline Soweto, Crossing the Line, and his recent memoir, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for biography. 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.


David Rensin

David Rensin has written or co-written 17 books, seven of them NY Times bestsellers. They include All for a Few Perfect Waves, an oral/narrative biography of rebel surfing icon Miki Dora; The Mailroom, an oral history of what it’s like to start at the bottom dreaming of the top in Hollywood; and Devil at My Heels, the autobiography of WWII/Olympian Louis Zamperini. He lives and surfs in Ventura, California.


Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

 

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

 

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

 

Main image: Cape St. Francis, South Africa  Credit: Gaftels


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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