Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996. She is the author of "News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist," winner of a Minnesota Book Award.

It can now be told: Cheryl Strayed is 'Dear Sugar'

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel under Book news, Local authors Updated: February 15, 2012 - 12:17 PM

 

Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed

 

Writer Cheryl Strayed, whose new memoir, "Wild," comes out next month, grew up in Northern Minnesota and has a degree from the U of M. (She now lives in Portland, Ore., but I think Minnesota still claims her as our own.)

"Wild" has already been getting a lot of press (and I've been hanging onto a review for weeks, waiting for pub date) but last night she got attention for a different reason: Strayed, it was revealed at a party in San Francisco, is the writer behind the very popular "Dear Sugar" column in The Rumpus, the online literary magazine.

Dear Sugar originally was written by Steve Almond (author of "Candyfreak," among other books), but after 26 columns he handed it over to Strayed, who wrote the column for two years, answering all kinds of questions and dispensing all kinds of advice, from writing to romance to sex to suicide.

It was popular, with more than 2 million hits over the two years.

“I approached it as a storyteller," Strayed said in Publishers Weekly. “Some of my best writing is in that column.”

Will there be a book? Of course there will be a book. "Tiny Beautiful Things," a collection of Strayed's Sugar columns, will be published in July by Vintage, PW reports.

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