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Tara Westover

Tara Westover:
Bestselling memoirist and historian

Thursday, October 4, 2018
— Craft Talk — 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library, University at Albany Uptown Campus

— Conversation/Q&A — 7:30 p.m., Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Albany, on the university's Downtown Campus

Tara Westover, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book, Educated (2018) will visit the NYS Writers Institute on Thursday, October 4 for two events.

Westover will hold a Craft Talk at 4:15 p.m. in the Standish Room, Science Library, on the university's Uptown Campus. A Presentation/Q&A will follow at 7:30 p.m. in Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, on the university's Downtown Campus. Both events are free and open to the public.

Educated details Westover's experiences as the daughter of strictly Mormon anti-government survivalists on a remote mountain in Idaho that devoted its time and energy to preparing for the End of Days in the mountains of Idaho. She spent her days working in her father's junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother, a self-taught herbalist and midwife.

When she grew older, seeking to escape a violent older brother, and lacking any formal education, Westover taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. 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.

Writing in the New York Times, Amy Chua called the book, “a beautiful testament to the power of education to open eyes and change lives,” and in the Financial Times review, Melissa Harrison described Educated as “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.”