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Cheryl Strayed makes 'Wild' connection with her half-sister

In the 2012 memoir Wild, author Cheryl Strayed sets out on a grueling hiking trip to help get past some personal losses, including her mother’s death and her divorce. As it turns out, that journey led to another, unexpected outcome: The connection to a half-sister she’d never met.

Over the summer, Strayed’s half-sister just happened to check out Wild at her local library. “She was just interested in books on travel,” Strayed told NPR. “She’s not a hiker but … that hiking boot on the cover caught her eye. And she was just halfway into chapter one when she said she sat bolt upright in bed and realized that we had the same father.”

The two have stayed in contact via email but have yet to meet in person, though Strayed hopes that a meeting is in their future. “It’s been really pretty interesting to think about: What is family? And what is a connection? You know, obviously this isn’t someone I grew up with. I’m meeting her as an adult. And … our connection is through this man who neither one of us has a relationship with now. And so how are we sisters? And how do we proceed?”

Listen to the full interview with Strayed on NPR’s website.

Cheryl Strayed talks 'Wild,' 'Tiny Beautiful Things,' Oprah, and 'Dear Sugar'

When Cheryl Strayed initially set out to write about the three-month hike on the unforgiving Pacific Coast Trail that she took at the age of 26, she expected it to be a long essay. It turned into a memoir, Wild, somewhat on accident, and now it’s an Oprah’s Book Club pick, sitting at No. 1 on the Hardcover Nonfiction list.

Before Wild became a major best-seller, Strayed was an accomplished essayist and novelist (2006’s Torch), and she already had a large, passionate reader following in “Dear Sugar,” the terrific, at times brutally honest advice column she’s been writing for therumpus.net since March 2010. She wrote as Sugar anonymously until she outed herself in February of this year. Vintage has released Tiny Beautiful Things, a paperback collection of her advice columns, some of which haven’t been published before.

Very much in demand these days, Strayed has been traveling the country talking to fans of both her new books. She took a moment to talk about Oprah, Wild, and Tiny Beautiful Things. She also has some helpful advice to all the aspiring writers out there. READ FULL STORY

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