23.3 C
Byron Shire
March 20, 2023

Cheryl Strayed from Wild to Brave Enough

Latest News

Main Arm road works update

Further to last week’s Echo newspaper story Main Arm Road repairs grant unsuccessful, Council’s General Manager, Mark Arnold, told...

Other News

Representative junior Beez back in action

There were plenty of good results for the Byron Beez basketballers after five teams headed down to Port Macquarie...

Victoria offers solutions for a kinder world

Local author, Victoria Thompson, is so passionate about protecting animals that she spent eight years researching and writing the book Animals Are Us – a guide to a kinder world.

Violet Coco released on good behaviour bond

It was a long wait from April 2022 until December and an even longer wait from then until this week for climate activist Violet Coco who was released on a good behaviour bond after being sentenced to 15 months jail in December for blocking the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

More resources needed on the ground for Northern Rivers DV services

The domestic violence services in the Northern Rivers were already underfunded and stretched before the 2022 floods. Since then they have been inundated with people needing their help as the pressures from the floods, the previous fires and the covid pandemic took their toll.

Delphi goes Bassooning

When Janet began working on her first solo show four years ago, little did she know where it was...

Who needs science or data on housing when money talks?

Significant research has been conducted internationally into STRA, especially where it has had a significant impact on the economy and community life of highly visited cities and regions. Central to these studies is the impact of STRA on housing access and affordability.

Author and journalist Cheryl Strayed. Photo Joni Kabana
Author and journalist Cheryl Strayed. Photo Joni Kabana

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Torch, the New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, which was later made into a feature film starring Reese Witherspoon, a collection of essays Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Someone Who’s Been There and a collection of quotes Brave Enough.

At 22, and in a state of overwhelming grief following the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed went on an impulsive 1,700km walk on the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert to the Canadian border. The account of her journey became her best-selling memoir Wild.

In 2012, Cheryl Strayed revealed herself as the hugely popular, straight-talking, anonymous advice columnist ‘Sugar’ for US website Rumpus. Tiny Beautiful Things is a collection of the best of the ‘Dear Sugar’ columns.

Last year Strayed published Brave Enough, gathering together more than 100 of her quotes and thoughts – ‘mini instruction manuals for the soul’.

Cheryl Strayed spoke to The Echo before setting off for her trek to Byron Bay.

Is Strayed your real name?

Yes. Strayed is my real, ­legal name and it has been since May 1995. I chose it for ­myself.

Did you keep a journal while you were on your Pacific Crest Trail hike? How did you write such vivid details?


Wild. The best-selling memoir by Cheryl Strayed.

I kept a journal all through my 20s and 30s, and yes, I kept a journal on my Pacific Crest Trail hike. My journal was enormously helpful as I wrote the book, often providing me with details I’d have forgotten. I also researched facts and consulted others about their recollections and interpretations of some of the events in Wild.

But like any memoir, Wild is based primarily on memory crafted with the intention of creating a piece of literature, not a report. I re-conjured moments, recreated conversations, feelings, landscapes, and the people I met as I remembered them.

Do you still hike and/or backpack?

Yes. It’s one of my favourite things to do.

How long did it take you to write your first book, Torch?

There are three answers to this question and they are all true: four years, seven years, and 34 years. I found it to be both great fun and difficult to write my first book. It takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline, determination, and magical thinking to keep the faith with a project such as a novel.

What is it anyway, aside from a story you made up while sitting alone in a room? The reason I finished Torch is that I finally came to understand that the only thing worse than having to really, truly write the whole damn thing was having to live with the fact that I didn’t. The day I wrote the final sentence I bawled my head off for an hour.

• Cheryl Strayed will be at Byron Writers Festival in conversation with Caroline Baum (Friday), The Art of Walking with John Faulkner and Damon Young (Saturday), The Americans with William Finnegan and Angela Flournoy (Sunday).

BWF 2016 Articles & Reviews

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

NSW Greens MP defends Nats smear

NSW MP Tamara Smith (Greens) has defended a political post on Facebook by Nationals candidate Josh Booyens. Booyens claims Smith was dishonest with her response...

Green support SSF and free parking at Tweed Valley Hospital

Protecting State Significant Farmland (SSF) and committing to free parking at the new Tweed Valley Hospital are issues Green candidates for Tweed, Ciara Denham,...

 Uki Refugee Project and Mt St Pat’s join forces for refugees

The Mount Saint Patrick College in Murwillumbah held an assembly of 850 students, teaching staff and members of the Uki Refugee Project to officially open their new sports house called Romero House – in honour of Saint Romero.

Scientists call for urgent groundwater management

Groundwater provides almost one-third of the nation’s water and is worth more than $34 billion to the economy, but results from a recent major review have prompted scientists to call for urgent and better appraisal of groundwater and how we manage it.