“I almost died last summer,” Sebastian Junger says, sitting on a bench in Tompkins Square Park on the kind of May day in New York that makes you glad to be simply alive.
“I had an undiagnosed aneurysm in my pancreatic artery, asymptomatic, not related to anything, it’s just a structural, congenital thing and I had no way of knowing about it. Out of the blue, just like we’re talking right now, it ruptured and I lost 90% of my blood.”
Junger found fame in 1997 with The Perfect Storm, an account of a nautical disaster off his native New England. To some, it made him the new Hemingway. Like Hemingway, he has produced masterpieces of reportage. His 2010 book, War, dealt with how men fight. It came out of time he and the British photographer Tim Hetherington spent with American soldiers in Afghanistan. They filmed as bullets flew. Junger was in a Humvee hit by a roadside bomb.