Cheryl Strayed is the author of several books, the most popular of them is Wild, Cheryl’s memoir about walking alone on the Pacific Crest Trail to find her way back to herself after self destructively dealing with the death of her mother. This book was made into an Oscar nominated blockbuster movie starring Reece Witherspoon.
Cheryl’s new book, Brave Enough, is a book of quotes, little nuggets of wisdom to reflect upon or read when you need a dollop of inspiration. As a person who chalks the streets with inspirational quotes on a regular basis, I knew I would love this book.
Over 200 people filled the auditorium of All Saints Church in Pasadena for her book signing yesterday. It’s nice to know that as a society, we are making heroes of strong intelligent women, not just folks who have a large rear end or star in a sex tape.
Rather than simply read from her book, the audience wrote questions on cards and Cheryl answered. The first question “How do you feel about women over the age of 40 wearing overalls” was handled with humor and grace. She did not fall into the women criticizing women role that is familiar to us since 3rd grade. Cheryl said overalls are probably fantastic since they are only held up by the shoulders, since anything cumbersome or clingy around the waist is generally NOT a good thing. I was impressed she chose to answer that question first, as a way to lighten up, to set the mood, as a way to not criticize women.
The questions that came after that were more serious, questions you would expect to ask a woman who walked 1,100 miles by herself, carrying everything she needed to survive on her back. She was honest and brave and inspirational and funny. She spoke of survival, and strength and the weirdness of having her personal life made into a movie and watching it be reenacted in front of her eyes.
When asked what her favorite word is- her answer “Well, it’s between Fuck and Love” made the room smaller, like we were all sitting in a bar having a tipsy conversation.
I waited in line for over 90 minutes to have my book signed by Cheryl. I was among the last 10 people to hand my book to her, yet she remained kind, patient and personable to every person I saw her interact with. A class act. An amazing woman. An amazing author.
You can pick up Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail on Amazon, or hit up your local bookstore.
Books by Cheryl Strayed: Torch (a novel), Tiny Beautiful Things (excerpts from an advice column she wrote), Wild (a memoir) and Brave Enough (a book of quotes).