Tara Westover

Updated: 27 February 24



Tara Westover is an American author best known for her memoir, “Educated,” which has captured the attention of readers worldwide for its compelling narrative of self-transformation and resilience. Born on September 27, 1986, in Clifton, Idaho, to a survivalist family, Westover’s journey from a young girl working in a junkyard to a celebrated scholar and writer is both inspiring and extraordinary.

Tara Westover's
Key Works:

“Educated” (2018): This memoir is Westover’s first and most prominent work, detailing her life growing up in a strict and isolated family that was skeptical of mainstream education, medicine, and government. Without any formal schooling until she was seventeen, Westover taught herself enough to pass college entrance exams, leading to her eventual attendance at Brigham Young University and further achievements at Cambridge and Harvard Universities. “Educated” explores themes of family, identity, and the power of education to change one’s life. It has received widespread acclaim for its honest and moving portrayal of Westover’s struggle for self-invention.

Literary Style and Themes

Westover’s writing in “Educated” is marked by its clarity, emotional depth, and introspective quality. She navigates her complex family dynamics and the challenge of reconciling her upbringing with her desire for knowledge and autonomy with a nuanced and compelling voice.

The memoir addresses themes of memory, identity, and the transformative power of education, inviting readers to reflect on the nature of knowledge and the means by which individuals come to understand their place in the world.

Awards and Recognition

“Educated” has received numerous accolades and was a finalist for several prestigious awards, including the LA Times Book Prize and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award. It was named one of the best books of the year by numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Time magazine. The memoir has not only established Westover as an influential literary figure but also resonated with a wide audience, sparking discussions about education, family loyalty, and personal resilience.

Influence and Contribution

Tara Westover’s “Educated” has made a significant impact on memoir writing and literature more broadly, contributing to conversations about the role of education in society and the complexities of family dynamics. Her story is particularly influential in highlighting how individuals can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles through determination, learning, and self-discovery.

Personal Life

Westover has been open about the challenges she faced in distancing herself from her upbringing to pursue education and writing. Her experiences have informed her advocacy for education and mental health, making her a respected voice in discussions on these topics.


What is “Educated” about?

“Educated” is a memoir that recounts Tara Westover’s journey from growing up in a survivalist family with no formal education to earning a PhD from Cambridge University. It explores themes of family, identity, and the transformative power of education.

Has Tara Westover written any other books?

As of my last update, “Educated” is Tara Westover’s only published book.

What awards has “Educated” won?

While “Educated” has been a finalist for several awards and received numerous accolades, it has not won specific major literary awards but has been recognized as one of the best books of the year by various prestigious publications.

How did Tara Westover manage to get into college without formal schooling?

Tara Westover self-studied to pass the ACT, which allowed her to gain admission to Brigham Young University, marking the beginning of her formal education journey.

What impact has Tara Westover’s story had?

Westover’s memoir has significantly impacted readers and critics alike, sparking discussions about the value of education, resilience in the face of adversity, and the complex dynamics of family loyalty and personal growth.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!



Please Write Your Comments