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Educated: A Memoir (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


Tara Westover’s memoir is an incredible read, not just because she details a childhood foreign to so many of us, but because she writes with such generosity and honesty to the entire experience. Westover comes of age among religious fanaticism, government distrust (read: no school, no doctors), extreme paranoia and outright danger (read next: child labor in a scrapyard), and yet she rises above to learn herself into university and the world beyond, but always with an eye to her family, both beloved and estranged.

— Melinda

Gripping, evocative, and richly detailed, Tara Westover's clear-eyed account of how she achieved a Ph.D.— despite the fact that her father's religious fundamentalism kept her out of school until she was 17 (and she and her siblings out of hospitals, despite some truly horrendous injuries)—is a must-read. I couldn't put this memoir down.

— Stuart

Description


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times

"A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle."--O: The Oprah Magazine

"Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable."--USA Today

"The extremity of Westover's upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing."--The New York Times Book Review

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills" bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father's junkyard.

Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one's closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

About the Author


Tara Westover was born in Idaho in 1986. She received her BA from Brigham Young University in 2008 and was subsequently awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD in history in 2014. Educated is her first book.


Coverage from NPR



Product Details
ISBN: 9780399590504
ISBN-10: 0399590501
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: February 20th, 2018
Pages: 352
Language: English

 

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