Sunday, January 3, 2010

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: Sebastian Junger - Journalist, Author of the Bestselling Book "The Perfect Storm"


Welcome to Up Close and Personal. Once a week, on a Sunday, a favorite author, journalist will be featured as ‘Favorite of the Week”. The article will give them more exposure and publicity about their recent work.

This week we choose "Sebastian Junger." He is an author and a journalist. He is most famous for his worldwide bestselling novel The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea.” He combines his novelistic techniques with reporting and scientific research to record the impact of a fierce storm during October of 1991. His narrative reconstructs the last moments of a doomed Gloucester fishing boat and the rescue at sea of other victims of that storm. The book was subsequently made into film by Warner Brothers.

He is a Boston-born freelance writer, from Belmont , Massachusetts. He received his Bachelor of Art degree from Wesleyan University in Cultural Anthropology in 1984. He received a National Magazine Award in 2000 for his article “The Forensics of War,” published in Vanity Fair for his world travels covering life on the edge.

He began writing for the ‘The City Paper’ in Washington DC, but wasn’t sure about a career in journalism. From there, he took a job climbing trees for a lumber company. He injured his left leg with a chainsaw while working as tree trimmer in the Boston area. After he recovered from the accidents, he returned to journalism and began writing ‘The Perfect Strom.’

Mr. Junger now writes for numerous magazines, including American Heirtage, Outside, Vanity Fair, Men’s Journal and the New York Times Magazine.

His second book Fire, was published in 2001. "Fire" is about his collection of articles dealing with dangerous regions of the world or dangerous occupations. It is most notable for its chapter "Lion in Winter" in which Mr.Junger interviews Afghan North Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Lion of the Panjshir, a famed resistance fighter against first the Soviets and then the Taliban.

Sebastian Junger was one of the last American journalists to interview Massoud in depth. The bulk of his interview was first published in March 2001 for National Geographic's Adventure Magazine along with photographs by the renowned Iranian photographerReza Deghati.

Massoud was assassinated on Sept. 9, 2001. Mr. Junger's portrait of Massoud gives one insight into how differently Afghanistan might have fared in the post-9/11 invasion had Massoud lived to help reclaim the country from the Taliban. "Fire" also details the conflict diamond trade in Sierra Leone, the forensic genocide in Kosovo and the hazards of fire-fighting in the Idaho wild.

His third book, “A Death in Belmonth" was released in 2006. It was a centers on the rape-murder of Bessie Goldberg, committed during the 1962-1964 period of the Boston Strangler crimes. Although a different man was convicted, Sebastian Junger, raises the possibility that the real killer was Albert DeSalvo, who eventually confessed to committing several Strangler murders, but not Goldberg's. The Goldberg's house was a mile and a quarter from the Junger family home, where Albert DeSalvo was doing construction work on the day Goldberg was killed. In fact, he said recently in a television interview, he grew up with a studio portrait of him on his family's wall.

His latest novel “War” will be available in bookstores and online on May 11th 2010. The book is about the reality of combat--the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another. His on-the-ground account follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. Through the experiences of these young men at war, Sebastian shows what it means to fight, to serve, and to face down mortal danger on a daily basis.

Mr. Junger, established The Perfect Storm Foundation to provide cultural and educational grants to children, whose parents make their living in the commercial industry.

To learn more about Sebastian Junger, please visit his website

To purchase his books, please visit AMAZON and Barnes & Noble

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