What Just Happened
Notes on a Long Year
An intimate, heartrending, and hilariously astute account of the year 2020, including the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, protests for racial justice, and the chaos of the U.S. presidential election, from the award-winning book critic and best-selling author of the Charles Lenox mystery series.
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 interminable year with delightful commentary on current events, and the things that distract him from current events: Murakami’s novels, reality television, the Beatles.
With light-footed humor and unwavering humanity, What Just Happened offers a miraculous dose of groundedness in head-spinning times. Here 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.