Cheryl Strayed first caught my attention before I even knew her name. As the anonymous advice columnist Sugar on The Rumpus, she broke my heart over and over again with her incredible empathy and impassioned style. When she revealed her identity and announced the publication of her memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, I couldn’t help but snap it up immediately.
Wild is a hiking memoir in all but the most important sense. The book is structured around Strayed’s 1100 mile trek up the Pacific Crest Trail and her discoveries along the way. Woefully underprepared and overpacked, she came to the end of her hike a physical wreck, battered and beaten, more than half her toenails lost to boots a size too small. Her real journey, and the real subject of the book, was one of spiritual and psychological growth. In well-paced, devastating flashbacks, Strayed reveals the events that brought her to the trail: her beloved mother’s early death and the subsequent implosion of her marriage.
Wild is a steady and assured memoir; Strayed possesses startling self-awareness, but never descends into petty navel-gazing. Her narration is so brave and forthright that you never doubt the veracity of her emotions or the importance of her journey.
-Sara D., Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing
If our online discussion of Wild interests you and you’d like to share more in person, please join us for a live chat with the author via Skype on Thursday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. at CADL Haslett & South Lansing.