Torch: A Novel

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Torch: A Novel

by Cheryl Strayed

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | January 8, 2007 | Trade Paperback |

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"Be incredible!" That''s the advice Teresa Rae Wood gives the listeners of her popular local radio show, Modern Pioneers!, a kind of hippie Praire Home Companion. Teresa has taken the advice to heart in her own life. As a teen mother and abused wife, she escaped with her two children to rural Minnesota, fell in love with a local carpenter, and raised good kids, Claire and Joshua. Then, at only 38, she receives the devastating news that she is gravely ill. In just a few weeks, she is gone.

The award-winning writer Cheryl Strayed creates from this shattering experience a novel that reviewers have called "an unforgettable read" and "a hauntingly beautiful story" that "shimmers with a humane grace." *

Infused with compassion and surprising humor, Torch takes a refreshingly unsentimental view of a family reeling from crisis. Claire drops out of college to devote herself to keeping her mother''s memory alive back home. Joshua drifts out of high school and into trouble, keeping his grief silently private. Suddenly thrown into adulthood, they struggle to figure out how to connect in this new, unthinkable situation. Their one remaining ballast is Teresa''s gentle common-law husband, Bruce. When Bruce announces news of his own plans, it comes as a shock not only to Claire and Joshua but also to the townspeople who have watched this unusual family grow and have come to love them.

Cheryl Strayed has a deep appreciation for the shifting rhythms between siblings and parents and for the beautiful terrors of learning how to keep living. The wonderful characters in Torch come alive and stay with you long after the novel ends.

*Library Journal; Kirkus Reviews; Publishers Weekly

Cheryl Strayed''s award-winning stories and essays have appeared in more than a dozen magazines, including the New York Times Magazine, Allure, Self, The Sun, and Nerve. Widely anthologized, her work is featured in The Best New American Voices 2003 and has been selected twice for The Best American Essays. Raised in Minnesota, Strayed has worked as a political organizer for women''s advocacy groups and was an outreach worker at a sexual violence center in Minneapolis. She holds an M.F.A. from the Syracuse University Graduate Creative Writing Program. She now lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two children.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: January 8, 2007

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0618772103

ISBN - 13: 9780618772100

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Torch: A Novel

Torch: A Novel

by Cheryl Strayed

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: January 8, 2007

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0618772103

ISBN - 13: 9780618772100

From the Publisher

"Be incredible!" That''s the advice Teresa Rae Wood gives the listeners of her popular local radio show, Modern Pioneers!, a kind of hippie Praire Home Companion. Teresa has taken the advice to heart in her own life. As a teen mother and abused wife, she escaped with her two children to rural Minnesota, fell in love with a local carpenter, and raised good kids, Claire and Joshua. Then, at only 38, she receives the devastating news that she is gravely ill. In just a few weeks, she is gone.

The award-winning writer Cheryl Strayed creates from this shattering experience a novel that reviewers have called "an unforgettable read" and "a hauntingly beautiful story" that "shimmers with a humane grace." *

Infused with compassion and surprising humor, Torch takes a refreshingly unsentimental view of a family reeling from crisis. Claire drops out of college to devote herself to keeping her mother''s memory alive back home. Joshua drifts out of high school and into trouble, keeping his grief silently private. Suddenly thrown into adulthood, they struggle to figure out how to connect in this new, unthinkable situation. Their one remaining ballast is Teresa''s gentle common-law husband, Bruce. When Bruce announces news of his own plans, it comes as a shock not only to Claire and Joshua but also to the townspeople who have watched this unusual family grow and have come to love them.

Cheryl Strayed has a deep appreciation for the shifting rhythms between siblings and parents and for the beautiful terrors of learning how to keep living. The wonderful characters in Torch come alive and stay with you long after the novel ends.

*Library Journal; Kirkus Reviews; Publishers Weekly

Cheryl Strayed''s award-winning stories and essays have appeared in more than a dozen magazines, including the New York Times Magazine, Allure, Self, The Sun, and Nerve. Widely anthologized, her work is featured in The Best New American Voices 2003 and has been selected twice for The Best American Essays. Raised in Minnesota, Strayed has worked as a political organizer for women''s advocacy groups and was an outreach worker at a sexual violence center in Minneapolis. She holds an M.F.A. from the Syracuse University Graduate Creative Writing Program. She now lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two children.

About the Author

Cheryl Strayed is the author of #1 New York Times bestseller Wild, the New York Times bestseller Tiny Beautiful Things, and the novel TorchWild was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah''s Book Club 2.0 and optioned for film by Reese Witherspoon''s production company, Pacific Standard. Wild was selected as the winner of the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and also received an Indie Choice Award, an Oregon Book Award, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and a Midwest Booksellers Choice Award. Strayed''s writing has appeared in The Best American Essays, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Allure, The Missouri Review, The Sun, The Rumpus--where she has written the popular "Dear Sugar" column since 2010--and elsewhere. Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages around the world. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor''s degree from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their two children.

Editorial Reviews

"I loved the honesty of this novel, the way it looked at every aspect of loss and recovery -- the pain, the joy, the absurdity, the anger, the despair, the hope and the great beauty -- without every holding back." --Elizabeth Berg "A deeply honest novel of life after catastrophe, of intimacy lost and found." O, The Oprah Magazine "Beautifully written and authentic in its portrayal of the unexpected fallout a family death can engender." People Magazine "In language that''s lyrical and haunting, Cheryl Strayed writes about bliss and loss, about the kind of grace that startles and transforms us in ordinary moments." --Ursula Hegi, author of Stones from the River "Lovely." Entertainment Weekly "A literary balm for those who know what it means to lose a parent." The Oregonian "Shows how death can untie, and hopefully, in time, affirm, familiar bonds." The San Francisco Chronicle "Cheryl Strayed proves a master of the little and the big, the telling details that cement the book''s larger themes in mind and memory . . . an irresistibly engaging debut read." Minneapolis Star-Tribune "[Strayed] goes fearlessly into this place of raw grief and inappropriate lust and desperate love . . . [her characters] live dense, perplexing, fascinating, and authentic lives." --Book World The Washington Post "Torch is a steady stream of finely wrought portrayals of nuance, moments, and emotions." Newsday "A hauntingly beautiful story written with tenderness and endowed with true insights into the fra
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