432 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.92 in
October 12, 2012
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0345805615
ISBN - 13: 9780345805614
Read from the Book
Preface When I was nine someone gave me a blank diary. I don’t remember who. It was pure white and had a small golden lock that opened with a small golden key that was also meant to re-secure the lock, but never did. I loved that diary. I remember very distinctly knowing it was the best gift I’d ever received. I filled it with stories about princesses and kings, about horses ridden by girls whose fathers drove around in fancy cars. I wrote about things that were nothing about me. When I was eleven a poet came to my school to teach a class for several days. She was called a poet-in-the-school, a special guest, a rare occurrence. Every minute she spoke it was like someone was holding a lit match to the most flammable, secret parts of me. One day the poet-in-the-school explained what metaphors were and then asked us to write a whole poem composed of them. I was a lion. I was an icicle. I was a kaleidoscope. I was a torn-up page. I was glass that other people took to be stone. Another day she told us we could write poems about our memories. She asked us to close our eyes and think for a while about when we were younger and then open our eyes and write. I wrote about running down the sidewalk in what I called “beautiful, filthy Pittsburgh” in my paint-speckled sneakers when I was five. A week later the principal summoned me to his office. When I arrived he explained from behind his big desk that the poet-in-the-school had showed him my poem. “You’re a good writer!” he exclai
From the Publisher
In her debut novel, Torch, bestselling author Cheryl Strayed weaves a searing and luminous tale of a family's grief after unexpected loss. "Work hard. Do good. Be incredible!" is the advice Teresa Rae Wood shares with the listeners of her local radio show, Modern Pioneers, and the advice she strives to live by every day. She has fled a bad marriage and rebuilta life with her children, Claire and Joshua, and their caring stepfather, Bruce. Their love for each other binds them as a family through the daily struggles of making ends meet. But when they received unexpected news that Teresa, only 38, is dying of cancer, their lives all begin to unravel and drift apart. Strayed's intimate portraits of these fully human characters in a time of crisis show the varying truths of grief, forgiveness, and the beautiful terrors of learning how to keep living.
About the Author
Cheryl Strayed is the author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail and Tiny Beautiful Things. Her stories and essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, The Rumpus, The Missouri Review, The Sun, The Best American Essays, and elsewhere.
"A heartbreaking anatomy of one family's grief. . . . Beautifully written and authentic." —People"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 ever holding back." --Elizabeth Berg"Exquisite, powerful. . . . Strayed's Torch is an amazing feat. . . . This is autobiographical fiction at its best." —Portland Tribune"A deeply honest novel of life after catastrophe, of intimacy lost and found." —O, The Oprah Magazine "Torch is a steady stream of finely wrought portrayals of nuance, moments and emotions. . . . Lovely turns of phrase are coupled with subtle and keen observations and truisms that remind a reader why she reads." —Newsday"Strayed proves a master of the little and the big. . . . There is throughout the novel a perfectly tuned ear. Combined with her empathic skills, she has transformed these familiar themes into an irresistibly engaging debut read." —Minneapolis Star Tribune"This novelist goes fearlessly into this place of raw grief and inappropriate lust and desperate love and simply reports what she sees: These are people who . . . live dense, perplexing, fascinating and authentic lives." —Washington Post Book World "[Strayed] astounds—producing a literary balm for those who know what it means to lose a parent. Coming on the heels of Joan Didion's memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, Torch echoes a similar theme: loss of a loved
The introduction, questions, and suggested further reading that follow are designed to enhance your group’s discussion of Cheryl Strayed’s Torch.