More Big Love for Cheryl Strayed

Further hype fuel. Reposting a gushing interview with Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, a book about her 1995 hike on the PCT. I reviewed Wild recently.


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About tjamrog

I'm sixty-five years old, retired, and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I like reading, and am outdoors every day. Nature is my gym. My exercise program involves more walking. For my upper body and core workout, I'll be shoveling snow, and when that's done, cutting, splitting, and hauling firewood. I have practiced Transcendental Meditation for an hour daily for the past 45 years.
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2 Responses to 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.

  2. tjamrog says:

    Thanks very much Joe, for your excellent observations on the Wild phenomena. Best of luck on your present AT hike!

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