Tara Westover Biography
Tara Westover is an American memoirist, essayist, and historian. She gained recognition after writing her internationally bestselling memoir Educated, published in 2018. Among several other awards, the book got two award nominations from the National Book Critics Circle Award. It also got longlisted for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence. In addition, the book won the Goodreads Choice Award for Memoir & Autobiography.
Her book was also named by the New York Times as one of the 10 best books in 2018. In addition, it became a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and PEN America’s grand prize, as well as also the Jean Stein Book Award.
Tara Westover Age
Tara Westover was born in Clifton, Idaho in the United States, a town with a population of about 259 individuals. On top of that, her family was made up of survivalists who were suspicious of doctors, hospitals, public schools, and the government in total. Her date of birth was in September 1986, the exact date unknown.
Tara Westover Family
She was the youngest of seven born to survivalist parents, Val and LaRee Westover, thus she was born at home, delivered by a midwife without visiting a doctor or even nurse. Due to this, she never got a birth certificate until she was nine years old. Even if the children got serious injuries sustained in their father’s wrecking yard, they were forbidden from hospitals. they were forced to get treatment at home by their mother who had studied herbalism and other methods of alternative healing. They were also homeschooled which she later referred to her education as a haphazard in her memoir.
Tara Westover Education
She managed to pass her ACT exam even though she was homeschooled. She managed to do this through hard work. Her older brother taught her to read. Next, she studied the scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a teenager, she bought her own textbooks and studied by herself. She joined the Brigham Young University right after high school. Her first year was difficult but she managed to cope after a while and graduated with honors in 2008.
After graduating, she pursued her Master’s Degree and a Doctorate in Intellectual History from the University of Cambridge on a Gates Scholarship. While she was a graduate student at Cambridge, she finally revealed to her parents that her older brothers were psychologically and physically abusing her since she was 15 years old. Her parents denied these claims. They further went on to say that she was under the influence of Satan and a schism happened.
Tara Westover Career
Her book Educated: A Memoir tells the story of her struggle to reconcile her desire for education and autonomy with her family’s rigid ideology. It was a great success and instantly got to #1 on New York Time Bestseller. Also, it gained positive reviews from the New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, USA Today, Vogue, and The Economist, among others. The former Ameican president Barack Obama included Tara Westover’s book on his annual summer reading list and called it ‘remarkable’. Amazon recognized Educated as ‘The best book of 2018’. Also, Bill gates included it on a list of his favorite books of the year.
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover was voted #1 book of 2018 in the Memoir and Autobiography category at the Goodreads Choice Awards. The book, however, caused discord in her family. The family’s lawyer, Blake Atkin, claims that Educated gives a false image of the Westover family including her speculation that her father had bipolar disorder and that her mother suffered a brain injury that resulted in reduced motor skills.
Tara Westover, the author of Educated: A Memoir
Awards and Recognition
- Named the Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association
- Finalist for the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle
- Amazon Editors’ pick for the Best Book of 2018
- Finalist for PEN/America’s Jean Stein Award
- One of the New York Times’s 10 Best Books of 2018
- Finalist for Barnes and Noble’s Discover Great Writers Award
- Long-listed for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence
- Finalist for the American Booksellers Association Audiobook of the Year Award
- Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Autobiography
- Finalist for the LA Times Book Prize in Biography
- Winner of the Audie Award for Autobiography/Memoir
- Finalist for the Autobiography Award from the National Book Critics Circle
- Alex Award from the American Library Association
- Named an Amazing Audiobook for Young Adults by the American Library Association
- Apple’s Best Memoir of the Year
- Audible’s Best Memoir of the Year
- Hudson Group Best Book of the Year
- President Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of the Year list
- Bill Gates’s Holiday Reading list
- Chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2019
- Named one of the Best Books of the year by The Washington Post, Oprah Magazine, Time, NPR, Good Morning America, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, The Economist, The Financial Times, The New York Post, The Skimm, Bloomberg, Real Simple, Town & Country, Bustle, Publisher’s Weekly, The Library Journal, Book Riot, and the New York Public Library.
Tara Westover Quotes
- Forgiveness isn’t just the absence of anger. I think it’s also the presence of self-love when you actually begin to value yourself.
- I get up when I feel like getting up. That’s the deal I’ve made with myself: I can stay in bed as long as my dog’s bladder holds. The other half of that deal is that once the dog is walked, the very next thing I do is write. It’s mechanical. It’s programming, very nearly brainwashing.
- Not knowing my birthday had never seemed strange. I knew I’d been born near the end of September, and each year I picked a day, one that didn’t fall on a Sunday because it’s no fun spending your birthday in church.
- Publishing a book is a very different thing than writing one.
- It’s very difficult to continue to believe in yourself and that you’re a good person when the people who know you best don’t.
- We think love is noble, and in some ways, it is. But in some ways, it isn’t. Love is just love. And sometimes people do terrible things because of it.
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/tara_westover