By Cheryl Strayed
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780618772100, 336pp.)
Publication Date: January 2007
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"Work hard. Do good. Be incredible!” That’s the advice Teresa Rae Wood gives the listeners of her popular local radio show, Modern Pioneers, and she has taken it to heart in her own life. She fled a bad marriage, escaping to Midden, Minnesota (pop. 408), where she fell in love with a carpenter who became a loving stepfather to her children, Claire and Joshua. Now Claire is away at college, Joshua is laboring through his senior year of high school, and Teresa and Bruce are working to make ends meet. Despite their struggles, their love for each other binds them as a family. Then they receive the devastating news that Teresa has cancer and at thirty-eight may have less than one year to live. Those she will leave behind face something previously unimaginable -- a future without her.
In Torch, the award-winning writer Cheryl Strayed creates from one family's shattering experience a novel infused with tenderness, compassion, and beauty.
CHERYL STRAYED's award-winning stories and essays have appeared in more than a dozen magazines, including the New York Times Magazine, Allure, Elle, and Nerve. Widely anthologized, her creative nonfiction has been selected twice for The Best American Essays, and Joyce Carol Oates singled her out for the opening piece in The Best New American Voices 2003. In its review of the anthology Women Who Eat: A New Generation on the Glory of Food, Publishers Weekly highlighted her tale of learning to make the perfect pudding for a tapioca-loving man. Raised in Minnesota, Strayed has worked as a political organizer for women's advocacy groups and was an outreach worker at a sexual violence center in Minneapolis. She holds an MFA from the Syracuse University Graduate Creative Writing Program.