Educated (Hardcover)

A Memoir

By Tara Westover

Random House, 9780399590504, 352pp.

Publication Date: February 20, 2018

List Price: 28.00*
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March 2018 Indie Next List

“Tara Westover is barely 30; could she really write a necessary and timely memoir already? Absolutely. Raised largely 'off the grid' in rural Idaho - without school, doctor visits, a birth certificate, or even a family consensus on the date of her birth - Tara nevertheless decides she wants to go to college. This is a story in two parts: First, Tara's childhood working in a dangerous scrapyard alongside her six siblings, her survivalist father, and her mother, a conflicted but talented midwife and healer, while fearing Y2K and the influence of the secular world; then, her departure from her mountain home to receive an education. Both halves of her story are equally fascinating. Educated is a testament to Tara's brilliance and tenacity, a bittersweet rendering of how family relationships can be cruel or life-saving, and a truly great read from the first page to the last.”
— Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC
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Description

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times • Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

“A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue


Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Praise for Educated

“Heart-wrenching . . . a beautiful testament to the power of education to open eyes and change lives.”—Amy Chua, The New York Times Book Review

“A heartbreaking, heartwarming, best-in-years memoir.”USA Today

“Tara Westover’s one-of-a-kind memoir is about the shaping of a mind. . . . She evokes a childhood that completely defined her. Yet it was also, she gradually sensed, deforming her.”The Atlantic

“Riveting . . . Westover brings readers deep into this world, a milieu usually hidden from outsiders.”—The Economist

“Incredibly thought-provoking . . . so much more than a memoir about a woman who graduated college without a formal education. It is about a woman who must learn how to learn.”The Harvard Crimson

“A subtle, nuanced study of how dysfunction of any kind can be normalized even within the most conventional family structure, and of the damage such containment can do.”Financial Times

“Westover’s extraordinary memoir is haunting in the best way, delivering a powerful coming-of-age saga.”Paste


About the Author

Tara Westover was born in Idaho in 1986. She received her BA from Brigham Young University in 2008 and was subsequently awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD in history in 2014. Educated is her first book.


Praise For Educated: A Memoir

“A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“Propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of her childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”Vogue

“Heart-wrenching . . . a beautiful testament to the power of education to open eyes and change lives.”—Amy Chua, The New York Times

“Living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable . . . a heartbreaking, heartwarming, best-in-years memoir about striding beyond the limitations of birth and environment into a better life.”USA Today

“Westover’s one-of-a-kind memoir is about the shaping of a mind. . . . In briskly paced prose, she evokes a childhood that completely defined her. Yet it was also, she gradually sensed, deforming her.”The Atlantic

“Riveting . . . Westover brings readers deep into this world, a milieu usually hidden from outsiders. . . . Her story is remarkable, as each extreme anecdote described in tidy prose attests.”—The Economist

“If [J. D.] Vance’s memoir offered street-heroin-grade drama, [Tara] Westover’s is carfentanil, the stuff that tranquilizes elephants. The extremity of Westover’s upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing. . . . By the end, Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”The New York Times Book Review

“Incredibly thought-provoking . . . so much more than a memoir about a woman who graduated college without a formal education. It is about a woman who must learn how to learn.”The Harvard Crimson

“A subtle, nuanced study of how dysfunction of any kind can be normalized even within the most conventional family structure, and of the damage such containment can do.”Financial Times

“Westover’s extraordinary memoir is haunting in the best way, delivering a powerful coming-of-age saga.”Paste

“Whether narrating scenes of fury and violence or evoking rural landscapes or tortured self-analysis, Westover writes with uncommon intelligence and grace. . . . One of the most improbable and fascinating journeys I’ve read in recent years.”—Newsday

“This gripping coming-of-age story shows a woman’s world being opened through education.”—Refinery29

“Raw and unflinching . . . lyrical and literary.”Library Journal

“An astonishing account of deprivation, confusion, survival, and success.”Kirkus Reviews

“At its heart, her memoir is a family history: not just a tale of overcoming but an uncertain elegy to the life that she ultimately rejected. Westover manages both tenderness and a savage honesty that spares no one, not even herself.”Booklist


Coverage from NPR