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    Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2012: At age 26, following
    the death of her mother, divorce, and a run of reckless behavior,
    Cheryl Strayed found herself alone near the foot of the Pacific
    Crest Trail--inexperienced, over-equipped, and desperate to
    reclaim her life. Wild tracks Strayed's personal journey on the
    PCT through California and Oregon, as she comes to terms with
    devastating loss and her unpredictable reactions to it. While
    readers looking for adventure or a naturalist's perspective may
    be distracted by the emotional odyssey at the core of the story,
    Wild vividly describes the grueling life of the long-distance
    hiker, the ubiquitous perils of the PCT, and its peculiar
    community of wanderers. Others may find her unsympathetic--just
    one victim of her own questionable choices. But Strayed doesn't
    want sympathy, and her confident prose stands on its own, deftly
    pulling both threads into a story that inhabits a unique riparian
    zone between wilderness tale and personal-redemption memoir.
    --Jon Foro

    From Author Cheryl Strayed

    Oprah and Cheryl StrayedOprah with Cheryl Strayed, author of
    Book Club 2.0's inaugural selection, Wild. I wrote the last line
    of my first book, Torch, and then spent an hour crying while
    lying on a cool tile floor in a house on a hot Brazilian island.
    After I finished my second book, Wild, I walked alone for miles
    under a clear blue sky on an empty road in the Oregon Outback. I
    sat bundled in my coat on a cold patio at midnight staring up at
    the endless December stars after completing my third book, Tiny
    Beautiful Things. There are only a handful of other days in my
    life--my wedding, the births of my children--that I remember as
    vividly as those solitary days on which I finished my books. The
    settings and situations were different, but the feeling was the
    same: an overwhelming mix of joy and gratitude, humility and
    relief, pride and wonder. After much labor, I'd made this thing.
    A book. Though it wasn't technically that yet.

    The real book came later--after more work, but this time it
    involved various others, including agents, publishers, editors,
    designers, and publicists, all of whose jobs are necessary but
    sometimes indecipherable to me. They're the ones who transformed
    the thousands of words I'd privately and carefully conjured into
    something that could be shared with other people. "I wrote this!"
    I exclaimed in amazement when I first held each actual, physical
    book in my hands. I wasn't amazed that it existed; I was amazed
    by what its existence meant: that it no longer belonged to me.

    Two months before Wild was published I stood on a Mexican beach
    at sunset with my family assisting dozens of baby turtles on
    their stumbling journey across the sand, then watching as they
    disappeared into the sea. The junction between writer and author
    is a bit like that. In one role total vigilance is necessary; in
    the other, there's nothing to do but hope for the best. A book,
    like those newborn turtles, will ride whatever wave takes it.

    It's deeply rewarding to me when I learn that something I wrote
    moved or inspired or entertained someone; and it's crushing to
    hear that my writing bored or annoyed or enraged another. But an
    author has to stand back from both the praise and the criticism
    once a book is out in the world. The story I chose to write in
    Wild for no other reason than I felt driven to belongs to those
    who read it, not me. And yet I'll never forget what it once was,
    long before I could even imagine how gloriously it would someday
    be swept away from me.


    Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail