With unwavering humanity and light-footed humor, this intimate account of the interminable year of 2020 offers commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic, protests for racial justice, the U.S. presidential election, and more, all with a miraculous dose of groundedness in head-spinning times. From the award-winning book critic and best-selling author.
"This book is so funny and so true. Charles Finch unpacks a year of plague, fear, shameless venality, and dizzying stupidity with an irrepressible wit and surgically precise cultural observations. I didn't know how badly I needed exactly this. Maybe you do too?" —Joe Hill, author of Heart-Shaped Box
In March 2020, at the request of the Los Angeles Times, Charles Finch became a reluctant diarist: As California sheltered in place, he began to write daily notes about the odd ambient changes in his own life and in the lives around him. The result is What Just Happened.
In a warm, candid, welcoming voice, and in the tradition of Woolf and Orwell, Finch brings us into his own world: taking long evening walks near his home in L.A., listening to music, and keeping virtual connections with friends across the country as they each experience the crisis. And drawing on his remarkable acuity as a cultural critic, he chronicles one endless year with delightful commentary on current events, and the things that distract him from current events: Murakami’s novels, reality television, the Beatles.
What Just Happened is a work of empathy and insight, at once of-the-moment and timeless—a gift from one of our culture's most original thinkers.