We’re excited to announce that “Educated” by Tara Westover is our May pick for the PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, “Now Read This.” It’s a memoir of growing up in remote Idaho in a survivalist family who did not believe in formalized education, and how Westover made her way to Harvard and Cambridge. And it’s been one of the most talked-about and critically acclaimed books of the year.
“I wrote the book I wished I could have given to myself when I was losing my family,” Westover told the New York Times of turning her difficult childhood into a memoir. “When I was going through that experience, I became aware of how important stories are in telling us how to live — how we should feel, when we should feel proud, when we should feel ashamed. I was losing my family, and it seemed to me that there were no stories for that — no stories about what to do when loyalty to your family was somehow in conflict with loyalty to yourself. And forgiveness. I wanted a story about forgiveness that did not conflate forgiveness with reconciliation, or did not treat reconciliation as the highest form of forgiveness. In my life, I knew the two might always be separate. I didn’t know if I would ever reconcile with my family, and I needed to believe that I could forgive, regardless.”
In the coming days, we’ll post discussion questions for the book, along with an annotated page and advice for writers from Westover. And at the end of the month, Westover will answer your questions on air.
Just joining? Become a member of the book club by joining our Facebook group, or by signing up for our newsletter. You can find all of our book club content here, or look back at our conversations about previous selections for the book club below:
- Dan Egan’s environmental portrait “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes“
- Mohsin Hamid’s magical novel “Exit West”
- David Grann’s true crime tale “Killers of the Flower Moon”
- Jesmyn Ward’s lyrical “Sing, Unburied, Sing”
Thanks for reading along!
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