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Tara Westover talks to David Runciman


Hay Festival 2018, 

Westover’s memoir Educated is fast achieving the status of a contemporary classic. She grew up in a remote corner of the American West preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. According to the state and federal government she didn’t exist. As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At 16 Tara decided to educate herself. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from the Idaho mountains, over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled too far. If there was still a way home.

Tara Westover talks to David Runciman