January 20, 2021

Tara Westover Zooms into Honors

Tara Westover next to the cover of her book Educated

 Tara Westover, author of the book Educated: A Memoir, winner of the 2020 Evans Handcart Award

Insight for Honors

By: Kelsie Holman, CHaSS Communications Journalist

Tara Westover, author of the book ​Educated: A Memoir, recently visited with a group of Utah State Honors students to answer questions and talk about her book in a Zoom Q&A session.

The students in this Q&A had spent the semester reading and discussing Westover’s book, a memoir about her unique experience growing up and her lifelong relationship with education,​ in an honors book lab. Book labs allow students to dissect these books and have in-depth discussions every week about different aspects of the writing.

The students were given the opportunity to ask Westover questions about her book, her life, and for advice on both writing and life. This was a rare chance for these students to talk to the author of a book they had studied in-depth over the semester.

“Writing my memoir was a therapeutic experience for me, but publishing it was not,” said Westover.

Westover’s book is not a light read and has some aspects that are very emotionally heavy and when talking about the experience writing this memoir, Westover said it took a lot of difficult emotional energy to relive some of the events she describes in her book.

As a final thought for students, Westover left them with some advice on how to change their college experience. “If there’s anything you want to learn, make your own curriculum. Everyone learns differently so make a curriculum that best fits you,” said Westover.

Westover recently won the Mountain West Center’s Evans Handcart Award and was gifted $2,500. The awards ceremony featuring Westover can be viewed on the Mountain West website.


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