Kem Nunn

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Kem Nunn
Nunn at Étonnants Voyageurs festival in 2013
Nunn at Étonnants Voyageurs festival in 2013
Born1948 (age 71–72)
Notable worksTapping the Source

Kem Nunn (born 1948) is a third-generation Californian novelist, surfer, magazine and television writer who lives in northern California.[1] He has been described as "the inventor of surf-noir" for his novels' dark themes, political overtones and surf settings.[2] He is the author of six novels, including his 1984 seminal debut surf novel Tapping the Source. Tapping The Source inspired the 1991 movie Point Break, and its 2015 remake.[3]

He collaborated with producer David Milch on the third and final season (2006) of the HBO Western drama series Deadwood. Milch and Nunn co-created the HBO series John from Cincinnati, a surfing series set in Imperial Beach, California which premiered on June 10, 2007.[4]


Kem Nunn grew up in Pomona[5] and Northern California.[6] He has written the novels Tapping the Source, Dogs of Winter, Pomona Queen, Unassigned Territory, Tijuana Straits, and Chance. He received an MFA in creative writing from UC Irvine.[1]

Nunn joined the crew of the HBO western drama Deadwood as a writer for the third and final season in 2006. The series was created by David Milch and focused on a growing town in the American West. Nunn wrote the episode "Leviathan Smiles".[7] He also wrote for season 5 of Sons of Anarchy.[8]


  • Tapping the Source (1984)[3]
  • Unassigned Territory (1986)[9]
  • Pomona Queen (1992)[10]
  • The Dogs of Winter (1997)[1]
  • Tijuana Straits (2004)[6][5]
  • Chance (2014),[11] adapted for television as Chance[12]


  1. ^ a b c Nunn, Kem (2013). The Dogs of Winter. New York: Washington Square Press. p. 369. ISBN 9781439125151. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  2. ^ Silverblatt, Michael (2 December 2004). "Bookworm: Kem Nunn". KCRW. Santa Monica, CA. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b Anselmi, J.J. (3 October 2016). "Kem Nunn inspired Point Break and explored the dark side of the beach". The A.V. Club. Chicago. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  4. ^ Hernandez, K. (22 August 2007). "The Death of John from Cincinnati". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b "News — Author Podcast: Kem Nunn". 13 November 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2016. part_1 part_2 part_3
  6. ^ a b Terry Rodgers (August 17, 2004). "Novelist rides write waves". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016 – via
  7. ^ Ed Bianchi (director), Kem Nunn (writer) (2006-07-30). "Leviathan Smiles". Deadwood. Season 3. Episode 8. HBO.
  8. ^ Reynolds, Susan Salter (18 February 2014). "When the World Goes Dark". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  9. ^ Bean, Henry (28 June 1987). "Unassigned Territory by Kem Nunn". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  10. ^ Smith, Cassandra (12 April 1992). "The Last Orange Grove: Pomona Queen, by Kem Nunn". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  11. ^ Rafferty, Terrence (8 February 2014). "Madness Most Discreet". New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  12. ^ Chance on IMDb

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