Sebastian Junger

Sebastian Junger

Sebastian Junger is an American author, journalist, and documentary filmmaker. Junger found fame after writing the international bestseller The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea. Published in 1997, it recounts the tale of the October 1991 "perfect storm" (in fact, the general use of the term originates from this book), focusing on the loss of the Gloucester fishing boat Andrea Gail off the coast of Nova Scotia and its six crew members, Billy Tyne, Bobby Shatford, Alfred Pierre, David Sulivan, Bugsy Moran, and Dale Murphy. It was subsequently made into a film by Warner Brothers.

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

In 2009 Junger made his first film, the documentary feature Restrepo, as director with photographer Tim Hetherington. The two worked together in Afghanistan on assignment for Vanity Fair. Junger and Hetherington spent a year with one platoon in the Korangal Valley, which is billed as the deadliest valley in Afghanistan. They recorded video to document their experience, and this footage went on to form the basis for Restrepo. The title refers to the outpost where Junger was embedded, which was named after a combat medic, Pfc. Juan Restrepo, killed in action. As Junger explained, "It's a completely apolitical film. We wanted to give viewers the experience of being in combat with soldiers, and so our cameras never leave their side. There are no interviews with generals; there is no moral or political analysis. It is a purely experiential film." Restrepo, which premiered on the opening night of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, won the grand jury prize for a domestic documentary.

Junger's visits from June 2007 to June 2008, to the Korengal Valley in eastern Afghanistan with Tim Hetherington, resulted not only in their reports and pictures published in Vanity Fair in 2008 and the film Restrepo (2010), but also in Junger's best-selling book War (2010), which rewrites and expands upon his Vanity Fair dispatches.

The Perfect Storm

HarperPaperbacks, 1998

It was the storm of the century, boasting waves over one hundred feet high a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it "the perfect storm." When it struck in October 1991, there was virtually no warning. "She's comin' on, boys, and she's comin' on strong," radioed Captain Billy Tyne of the Andrea Gail off the coast of Nova Scotia, and soon afterward the boat and its crew of six disappeared without a trace.

In a book taut with the fury of the elements, Sebastian Junger takes us deep into the heart of the storm, depicting with vivid detail the courage, terror, and awe that surface in such a gale. Junger illuminates a world of swordfishermen consumed by the dangerous but lucrative trade of offshore fishing "a young man's game, a single man's game" and gives us a glimpse of their lives in the tough fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts; he recreates the last moments of the Andrea Gail crew and recounts the daring high-seas rescues that made heroes of some and victims of others; and he weaves together the history of the fishing industry, the science of storms, and the candid accounts of the people whose lives the storm touched, to produce a rich and informed narrative.

The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller that will leave readers with the taste of salt air on their tongues and a sense of what it feels like to be caught, helpless, in the grip of a savage force of nature.


WAR

Twelve, 2010

A fatal collision of three lives in the most intriguing and original crime story since In Cold Blood.

In his breakout bestseller, The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger created "a wild ride that brilliantly captures the awesome power of the raging sea and the often futile attempts of humans to withstand it" (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Now, Junger turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to 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, he shows what it means to fight, to serve, and to face down mortal danger on a daily basis.


A Death in Belmont

W.W. Norton, April 2006

A fatal collision of three lives in the most intriguing and original crime story since In Cold Blood.

In the spring of 1963, the quiet suburb of Belmont, Massachusetts, is rocked by a shocking sex murder that exactly fits the pattern of the Boston Strangler. Sensing a break in the case that has paralyzed the city of Boston, the police track down a black man, Roy Smith, who cleaned the victim's house that day and left a receipt with his name on the kitchen counter. Smith is hastily convicted of the Belmont murder, but the terror of the Strangler continues.

On the day of the murder, Albert DeSalvo—the man who would eventually confess in lurid detail to the Strangler's crimes—is also in Belmont, working as a carpenter at the Jungers' home. In this spare, powerful narrative, Sebastian Junger chronicles three lives that collide—and ultimately are destroyed—in the vortex of one of the first and most controversial serial murder cases in America.

Fire

W.W. Norton, 2001

Forest fires, terrorism, war: explorations of danger by the author of The Perfect Storm.

For readers and viewers of The Perfect Storm, opening this long-awaited new work by Sebastian Junger will be like stepping off the deck of the Andrea Gail and into the inferno of a fire burning out of control in the steep canyons of Idaho. Here is the same meticulous prose brought to bear on the inner workings of a terrifying elemental force; here is a cast of characters risking everything in an effort to bring that force under control. Few writers have been to so many desperate corners of the globe as has Sebastian Junger; fewer still have provided such starkly memorable evocations of characters and events. From the murderous mechanics of the diamond trade in Sierra Leone to the logic of guerrilla warfare in Afghanistan and the forensics of genocide in Kosovo, this new collection of Junger's nonfiction will take you places you wouldn't dream of going to on your own.

Sebastian Junger's 'War' on Q TV

The best-selling author of 'The Perfect Storm' sits down to talk about his new book entitled 'War'. It features his experiences as an embedded war correspondent in the Korangal Valley in Afghanistan.


Tim Hetherington & Sebastian Junger

Meet the Artists: Tim Hetherington & Sebastian Junger "Restrepo" Sundance Film Festival 2010