This author appeared at the 2012 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.
When she was 26 years old, Cheryl Strayed found herself standing on a mountain slope in Northern California, shocked by the recent loss of one of her hiking boots. So begins her memoir Wild: From Lost to Found On the Pacific Crest Trail. Throughout the book Strayed carries her too-heavy backpack and the reader on a journey with her from the Mojave Desert through the Sierra Nevada to the northern edge of Oregon. On the way she builds muscle and resolve, encounters challenges and wildlife both serene and raging, makes mistakes, gets lost, gets found and divulges the moments of her past that led up to the loss of her boot and beyond. Strayed’s collection of previously anonymous advice columns from TheRumpus.net, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from “Dear Sugar,” was also published this year, and it showcases letters with articulately heart-wrenching questions that could have been written by any of us: short, fat, thin, tall, old or young. She answers readers just as poignantly, addressing queries and pleas for direction about money, beauty, love, infidelity, family and addictions. In both books, Strayed gives the reader relevant insight into her own life, while in turn asking the reader to answer the beautiful, ugly unanswered questions for themselves. Both are beautifully written with compassion, vulnerability, tough-love, and candor as she reminds the reader that every day is a new beginning built on the days before, and that the better choice is to keep walking forward. Strayed is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel Torch. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including The New York Times Magazine, TheWashingtonPost Magazine, Vogue, Allure, The Rumpus, The Missouri Review, The Sun, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and The Best American Essays. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
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