Tara Westover was born in Idaho in 1986. She received her BA from Brigham Young University in 2008 and was subsequently awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD in history in 2014. Educated is her first book.
"If [J. D.] Vance's memoir offered street-heroin-grade drama, [Tara] Westover's is carfentanil, the stuff that tranquilizes elephants. The extremity of Westover's upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing. . . . By the end, Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others."--The New York Times Book Review "Living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable . . . a heartbreaking, heartwarming, best-in-years memoir about striding beyond the limitations of birth and environment into a better life."--USA Today "Riveting . . . Westover brings readers deep into this world, a milieu usually hidden from outsiders. . . . Her story is remarkable, as each extreme anecdote described in tidy prose attests."--The Economist "A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle."--O: The Oprah Magazine "Incredibly thought-provoking . . . so much more than a memoir about a woman who graduated college without a formal education. It is about a woman who must learn how to learn."--The Harvard Crimson "Heart-wrenching . . . a beautiful testament to the power of education to open eyes and change lives."--Amy Chua, The New York Times "Propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of her childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?"--Vogue "A subtle, nuanced study of how dysfunction of any kind can be normalized even within the most conventional family structure, and of the damage such containment can do."--Financial Times "Westover's extraordinary memoir is haunting in the best way, delivering a powerful coming-of-age saga."--Paste "Westover's one-of-a-kind memoir is about the shaping of a mind. . . . In briskly paced prose, she evokes a childhood that completely defined her. Yet it was also, she gradually sensed, deforming her."--The Atlantic "Whether narrating scenes of fury and violence or evoking rural landscapes or tortured self-analysis, Westover writes with uncommon intelligence and grace. . . . One of the most improbable and fascinating journeys I've read in recent years."--Newsday "This gripping coming-of-age story shows a woman's world being opened through education."--Refinery29 "Raw and unflinching . . . lyrical and literary."--Library Journal "An astonishing account of deprivation, confusion, survival, and success."--Kirkus Reviews "At its heart, her memoir is a family history: not just a tale of overcoming but an uncertain elegy to the life that she ultimately rejected. Westover manages both tenderness and a savage honesty that spares no one, not even herself."--Booklist