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Arts & Entertainment Presented by Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts


Author Cheryl Strayed to Discuss ‘From Lost to Found on Pacific Crest Trail’

By Karna Hughes for UCSB Arts & Lectures |

UCSB Arts & Lectures will present New York Times bestselling author Cheryl Strayed in a talk titled “A Wild Life: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14 at UCSB Campbell Hall.

Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed

Her remarkable memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (March 2012), inspired Oprah Winfrey to start her Book Club 2.0. Books will be available for purchase at the event, and a book signing will follow the talk.

In her early 20s, Strayed was shattered by two devastating life events: her mother’s sudden death from cancer, and the end of her young marriage. To cope, she used drugs and sex until hitting rock bottom. Then, on a lark, she decided to confront her emotional pain by attempting to trek more than 1,000 miles alone along the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mojave Desert to Washington state — without ever having spent a single night backpacking before.

Strayed will discuss the jagged journey chronicled in her bestselling memoir, Wild, recounting the harrowing and hilarious stories behind her solo hike — from her encounters with black bears and fellow hikers to the startling beauty and loneliness of the trail — as she struggled to find inner peace and stability.

NPR praised Wild as “one of the most original, heartbreaking and beautiful American memoirs in years. … [Strayed] writes with stunningly authentic emotional resonance.”

The book has been optioned for a film produced by and starring Actress Reese Witherspoon; Nick Hornby will adapt it for the screenplay. Wild is on the best 2012 nonfiction lists for Time magazine, The New Republic and critic Dwight Garner of The New York Times.

Strayed has written the popular “Dear Sugar” column for the online publication The Rumpus since March 2010. A collection of her columns, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, was published in 2012, and she is the author of the novel Torch. Her writing also has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, The Sun and elsewhere.

She holds a master’s degree in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. Strayed is a founding member of VIDA: Women In Literary Arts and serves on its Board of Directors. Raised in Minnesota, she now lives in Portland, Ore. with her husband, filmmaker Brian Lindstrom, and their two children.

Strayed’s lecture is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures, as well as community partner the Orfalea Foundation and with public lecture support from Yardi.

Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for UCSB students with a current student ID. For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805.893.3535 or click here to purchase online.

Arts & Lectures thanks for its major support of the 2012-13 season.

— Karna Hughes is a senior writer and publicist for UCSB Arts & Lectures.

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