Ashley Petry


Cheryl Strayed is a household name these days because of the success of her memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. A New York Times bestseller and an Oprah’s Book Club selection, the book has also been adapted into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon. (It comes out in December.) But Strayed—whose self-chosen last name makes her name into a complete sentence—is also known for her novel, Torch, and for her tender, honest, and sometimes heartbreaking Dear Sugar essays. Originally published on The Rumpus, they have since been collected in the book Tiny Beautiful Things. Here, we talk with Strayed about telling hard truths, making pacts with your readers, and—of course—writing like a motherfucker.

(Editor’s note: This is an excerpt of the full interview, which will appear in our next print issue, Booth 7.)

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"A Conversation with Cheryl Strayed" was originally published at Booth.