Episode 46 — Cheryl Strayed


Cheryl Strayed is the guest.  She’s the author of the new memoir Wild, due out from Knopf on March 20, 2012.  And she’s also Sugar, the popular advice columnist over at The Rumpus.

Wild, which details Strayed’s 1,100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995, is generating a ton of good buzz.  Kirkus, in a starred review, calls it “a candid, inspiring narrative of the author’s brutal physical and psychological journey through a wilderness of despair to a renewed sense of self.”

Topics of conversation include:  Sugar, love, advice, self-help, narcissism, anonymity, personal vs. universal, internal vs. external, Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, heroin, sex, grief, California, wilderness, blisters, Oregon, self-destruction, grunge, purification, journaling, book tour, William Faulkner, Adrienne Rich, The Rumpus, The Dream of a Common Language, family, suffering, pain tolerance, book burning, beauty, As I Lay Dying, and llamas.

Monologue topics:  Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, perspective, boredom, fear, Shenandoah National Park, Merlin, hippies, boxed wine, parties, Patrick, grounding, knives, murder, the carotid artery, and inventing things to do.

[Photo:  Benjamin Brink / The Oregonian]