A journalist and writer (New York, 1952), he grew up between Los Angeles and Hawaii. For many years, he wandered across land and sea on all possible means of transport, earning his living as a brakeman on Southern Pacific trains, a book shop worker, a reporter, a dishwasher and an English teacher in the ghettoes of Cape Town at the height of Apartheid. He has written for "The New Yorker" since 1987 and is a regular contributor to other prestigious American magazines ("Granta", "Harper's", "The New York Review of Books"). Over the course of his journalistic career, he has published several books, and dealt with topics such as war, racism, poverty, crime and globalisation, and writing articles and reports from Australia and El Salvador to Mexico and Mozambique. Each stage of his life has been marked by surfing, «a drug that can make you a slave for life», and which has led him to the seas of Waikiki, Nias, Tavarua, Ocean Beach and Jardim do Mar. Chasing the waves, love, terror, bodily wounds and intense friendships are all featured in his "Barbarian Days", a memoir which won him the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year.
(photo: © Basso Cannarsa)