Tara Westover’s first book, Educated, is a #1 New York Times bestseller and has remained on the list for more than a year. Educated was a finalist for a number of national awards, including two from the National Book Critics Circle Awards, as well as the PEN in Jean Stein Book Award. Tara was chosen as one of the 100 most influential people of 2019 by TIME Magazine.
The daughter of survivalist, fundamentalist and uncompromising parents who did not believe in public education, Tara Westover grew up in the mountains of Idaho and spent her days working in her father’s junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother, who was a midwife and healer, until she decided to get an education and experience the world outside of her community.
To attend college, Westover taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom and continued learning for a decade, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Brigham Young University in 2008 and subsequently winning a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an Masters in Philosophy 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 Ph.D. in history in 2014.
In 2018, she published her memoir, Educated, which explores her struggle to reconcile her desire for education and autonomy with her desire to be loyal to her family. Educated was an instant commercial and critical success, debuting at number one on the New York Times best-seller list and remaining on the list for more than a year. It was also a finalist for a number of national awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN in Jean Stein Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The New York Times named Educated one of the 10 Best Books of 2018 and has now been on The New York Times best-seller list for more than two years. The American Booksellers Association voted it the Nonfiction Book of the Year.
To date, Educated has sold more than 4 million copies and has been translated into 41 languages. President Barack Obama included Educated on his annual reading list, calling it “remarkable,” and Bill Gates listed it as one of his favorite books of the year, saying, “It’s even better than you’ve heard.” For her staggering impact, TIME Magazine named Westover one of the 100 most influential people of 2018.