Tara Westover, the author of “Educated,” which details her family’s mistrust and eschewing of public education coming up against her own innate desire to learn and gain her own autonomy, will be coming to Turlock in April as part of The Library Presents series.
Westover will be discussing her book and its ongoing impact at the Carnegie Arts Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. April 16. Seats are limited and tickets are going quickly.
Westover’s attendance comes through The Library Presents, which was formed with an eye towards securing programs that appeal to children, teens and/or adults and connect the community. The program is overseen by the Friends of the Turlock Public Library. A large donation launched the program and has previously brought best-selling author Jamie Ford to town.
“One of the goals for The Library Presents committee is to bring known authors to our community and we think Tara Westover will not disappoint,” said FOTPL Board Member Pat Portwood. “She will be interviewed by Dr. Gillian Wegner, a past poet laureate and current school administrator. Tara will also be signing, so bring your books or purchase at the event.”
Westover was born in Idaho to a father opposed to public education, she never attended school. An older brother taught her to read, and after that her education was erratic and haphazard, with most of her days spent working in her father’s junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother. The first time she stepped foot in a classroom, she was 17 years old and suddenly a new world opened up to her.
For the next decade she pursued her education relentlessly. She graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2008 and subsequently won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She received a master’s in Philosophy from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2009 and in 2014 was awarded a doctorate in history.
In 2018, she published her memoir, “Educated,” exploring her struggle to reconcile her desire for education and autonomy with her desire to be loyal to her family. “Educated” was an instant commercial and critical success, debuting at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and remaining on the list for more than two years. It was also a finalist for a number of national awards, including the L.A. Times book Prize, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The New York Times named “Educated” one of the 10 Best Books of 2018, and the American Booksellers Association voted it the Nonfiction Book of the Year.
To date, “Educated” has sold more than 8 million copies and has been translated into 45 languages. President Barack Obama included “Educated” on his annual reading list, calling it "remarkable," and Bill Gates listed it as one of his favorite books of the year, saying, "It's even better than you've heard.” For her staggering impact, TIME Magazine named Westover one of the 100 most influential people of 2018.
Tickets for The Library Presents Tara Westover are $15 and are available at https://friends-of-the-turlock-library.ticketleap.com/the-library-presents-meet-tara-westover/.