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William Finnegan and Brooke Kroeger in Q&As

Tue, 06/06/2023 - 18:49
William Finnegan
Penguin Random House

Return of the Surf Writer

"Few have successfully transmitted to a broader audience the sport's intangible appeal." That was Biddle Duke in The Star in 2015, in praise of William Finnegan's writing about surfing in The New Yorker.

"There it was, pulled together by a keenly observant reporter: the characters, the unwritten rules, the beauty, the fear, the humiliation, the brazen egos, the pull of it."

Mr. Duke was reviewing "Barbarian Days," Mr. Finnegan's memoir of his life with the "wily mistress" that is surfing, "the story of a coming of age of a man and a sport." Now the author will be back in Montauk, at the library, to read from the book and take questions on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

"Back" because not only has he longboarded at Ditch Plain, making appearances in "Barbarian Days" is the hamlet's Peter Spacek, surfer and Star cartoonist. In the book the two make an excursion together to surf off Madeira. 

To the armchair observer they were taking their lives in their hands. But why? Mr. Finnegan will be happy to discuss it.

The Women of Journalism

"How Women Changed American Journalism" is the subtitle of Brooke Kroeger's new book of history, "Undaunted," out last month from Knopf. It stretches back in time to before the Civil War, and advances forward in its subjects from the investigative work of Ida B. Wells to the war correspondence of Martha Gellhorn, who out-Hemingway'd Hemingway, up to the modern-day triumphs of Joan Didion and Janet Malcolm.

Ms. Kroeger's own journalistic experience includes stints at Newsday and work for the U.P.I. news service. She taught journalism for many years at New York University, where she was founding director of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. 

The part-time East Hampton resident will be interviewed by Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times and Lynn Sherr, formerly of ABC News, on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the East Hampton Library. The program will be both in person and by Zoom. Registration is through the BookHampton website.

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