Author, Educated: A Memoir
Tara Westover is a memoirist, essayist, and historian, known for her internationally best-selling memoir, Educated. One of the New York Times’s 10 Best Books of 2018, it was shortlisted for the John Leonard Award and the Autobiography Award from the National Book Critics Circle, long listed for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence, and won the Goodreads Choice Award for Memoir and Autobiography. Westover’s first book was also a finalist for PEN America’s grand prize, the Jean Stein Book Award. The daughter of survivalist parents who were opposed to public education, she first attended school at the age of 17. Westover now has a master’s in philosophy and PhD in history.
This excerpt has been lightly edited for clarity
Tara Westover: I think the tropes of journalism needs to change. But another difficult part of that is that so few journalists and filmmakers come from these regions...So you’re starting off already with almost no one who has a basic familiarity with those places and cultures. And what I’ve noticed too sometimes is that there's such pressure to turn in a particular type of narrative that even when you get people who has some knowledge or familiarity, there’s such a hunger for information that confirms the stereotype. But even then, sometimes people who know a little better, they turn in that type of narrative because there’s an idea that people are really hungry for it. And they are hungry for it. People like things that confirm what they already think. So I think some of it is on journalism to stop giving people what they want and to stop shaping what they want.