Cheryl Strayed


Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild chronicles her struggles with heroin, divorce and other demons, before facing them head-on during a 1,100-mile long hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Since it was first published in 2012, Wild has been an astonishing success. It was chosen for the Oprah Book Club 2.0 and has sold more than one million copies worldwide.

Wild was was adapted for the screen by Nick Hornby and stars Reese Witherspoon. It is being directed by Quebec filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée. Reese Witherspoon was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Laura Dern, who plays her mother, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.


If I had to draw a map of those four-plus years to illustrate the time between the day of my mother's death and the day I began my hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, the map would be a confusion of lines in all directions, like a crackling Fourth of July sparkler with Minnesota at its inevitable center. To Texas and back. To New York City and back. To New Mexico and Arizona and Nevada and California and Oregon and back. To Wyoming and back. To Portland, Oregon, and back. To Portland and back again. And again. But those lines wouldn't tell the story. The map would illuminate all the places I ran to, but not all the ways I tried to stay. It wouldn't show you how in the months after my mother died, I attempted - and failed - to fill in for her in an effort to keep my family together. Or how I'd struggled to save my marriage, even while I was dooming it with my lies. It would only seem like that rough star, its every bright line shooting out.

From Wild by Cheryl Strayed ©2012. Published by Vintage.

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