2 thoughts on “More Big Love for Cheryl Strayed

  1. Tom – I loved your review of the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed. From a hiker’s perspective I think it was spot on, though I have not also read the book. ( and now, I do not intend to). I decided to check out the author’s advice column, Dear Sugar since it was so prominently linked to the interview page.

    I think you are exactly correct to identify the media hype aspect of the writer and her project. nowadays in the book industry, they emphasize “platform” – meaning that the major publishers have learned that any given author will need to sell not tjust the book they wrote, but also who they are, their personal life, and a means to create community with the people who read their stuff – it’s a blurring of the lines between types of media. Awriter can not merely slave away in obscurity – the writer needs to be a media personality these days if any money is to be made. it’s not enough to have a nice blog on the web – you have to do radio appearances, get interviews in the print media, and put things up on YouTube. Untilmately to have a fashion line i suppose. Why doesn’t Strayed also promote a specific tattoo, for example?

    Also, the PCT in this case is just a backdrop, as you correctly identify. the setting could be anywhere. You allowed yourself to be momentarily fooled I think. The intended audience of this book is not hikers, nor was it ever supposed to be, if I read the tea leaves. the intended audience is that Universe of women with broken relationships and estranged families for whom the writer produces her Dear Sugar blog. I think the author realized ( maybe she always knew) that she needed to produce street credibility for her readers by going into detail about her own screwed up past.

    incidentally, i thought her relatinship advice was sound, and that her blgo was attracting good commentators….. but that is another matter…….. for me, I generally plan to stick to graphic descriptions of blisters, critters on the Trail, and fun in Trail towns this summer.


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