Originally broadcast at 10:30 a.m. ET Monday, August 2, 2021.
Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, the host of the New York Times podcast “Sugar Calling” and also “Dear Sugars,” which she co-hosted with Steve Almond, and for many years the voice of “Dear Sugar,” the popular advice column at The Rumpus. With empathy imbedded in every aspect of her work, from the advice given as “Dear Sugar” to the writing of her hit memoir — which Oprah Winfrey selected as the first book in Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 and which was the inspiration for the Oscar-nominated movie adaptation staring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern — Strayed opens the Chautauqua Lecture Series’ Week Six theme with an exploration of how radical empathy has informed her life and her work, and what applications such radical empathy, for ourselves and others, has in daily life.
Strayed is also the author of The New York Times bestseller Tiny Beautiful Things, a collection of her widely popular “Dear Sugar” columns for TheRumpus.net, which was adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, who also starred in the role of Sugar/Cheryl. The play was directed by Thomas Kail and debuted at The Public Theater in New York City.
Additionally, Strayed has authored the critically acclaimed novel Torch, a finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award, and her writing has appeared in The Best American Essays, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Allure, The Missouri Review, Creative Nonfiction, The Sun and elsewhere. Her books have been translated into nearly 40 languages around the world. She is a founding member of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and serves on its board of directors.
Strayed holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota.
This program is made possible by The Eleanor Fund Lectureship Endowment and the Dr. Edwin Prince Booth Memorial Fund.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.