Memoir: Tara Westover: Educated - in conversation with Alexandra Heminsley - Leap In
'A memoir to stand alongside classics by the likes of Jeanette Winterson and Lorna Sage … a compelling and ultimately joyous account of self-determination’ Sunday Times
Tara Westover grew up in rural Idaho, preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She spent her summers bottling peaches and her winters rotating emergency supplies, hoping that when the World of Men failed, her family would continue on, unaffected.
Her Mormon survivalist father was intensely paranoid about government interference in the lives of his family. Tara hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because until she was seventeen she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. According to the state and federal government, she didn’t exist.
As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent. At sixteen Tara decided to educate herself. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from her Idaho mountains, over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled too far. If there was still a way home.
EDUCATED is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes with the severing of the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, from her singular experience Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change. It is an unusual memoir, not least because she began writing it at the age of 28, and many of the events she discusses are still unresolved.
Tara will discuss her extraordinary life and the art of writing memoir in conversation with Alexandra Heminsley. The bestselling author of Running Like a Girl and Leap In, Alexandra is a journalist and broadcaster. Alexandra reviews for Sara Cox’s BBC Radio 2 Book Club, is the former books editor of Elle magazine, and was the ghostwriter for Judy Murray's bestselling autobiography, Knowing the Score.
Alexandra’s most recent book, LEAP IN is the funny, and inspiring account of learning how to swim in open water, battling body anxiety and freezing temperatures and the conundrum of exiting a wetsuit gracefully. But it is also a moving memoir about doubts and fears, relationships and infertility, struggles and acceptance. Described as ‘soaringly beautiful’ by the Sunday Times, Leap In is also a candid, insightful, and empowering account of learning how to appreciate your body, still your mind and that everything is better when you remember to exhale.
Read more at https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/1112793/educated/#lsEmFUJAJFI05oD0.99
Thursday 18th October 4.30pm