This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Wild


by Cheryl Strayed A lot of has already been said about


Cheryl Strayed’s searingly honest mem- oir Wild. Tapped as the first selection of Oprah’s Book Club 2.0, the book has earned glowing reviews from The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Boston Globe. “One of the most original, heartbreaking and beautiful American memoirs in years,” reviewed Michael Schaub of National Public Radio. Wild meets, and then exceeds, its reputa-


tion. The book chronicles Strayed’s deci- sion to solo-hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Majove Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. Her few constant companions throughout the hike are the guiding voices of the authors of her trail guide, the supplies in her massive backpack dubbed “Monster” and, easily the heaviest burden, her memories and grief for her mother who died of cancer when Strayed was only 22. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is


2,663 miles long. Officially completed in 1993, it stretches from Mexico to British Columbia and guides hikers through both the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountain Ranges. While the trail is only about two- feet wide, in Wild it immediately expands to take on a character of its own; its craggy contours become the map of Strayed’s phys- ical and emotional journey. Strayed’s memoir is at first heartbreak-


ing. Then it’s inspiring. After that it’s bluntly honest, then hilarious and then back to heartbreaking. Strayed’s physical journey on the trail may have had a clear beginning and end, but the inner journey and changes she endures are far from linear. Wild is a book for readers from all walks


of life, from 20-somethings just beginning to navigate the world,


to adults coping


with tragedies and conflicts that can never be prepared for. Wild is an engrossing and inspiring story that will have you on the hunt for more of Cheryl Strayed’s writ- ing. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, hardcover, $25.95.


Cheryl Strayed is the author of the advice essay collection Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar and the novel Torch. She lives with her husband and children in Portland, Oregon.


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