Author Cheryl Strayed visits Eden Prairie on April 7

Author Cheryl Strayed discusses Wild as a part of Eden Prairie Reads.

Even if you haven’t read the best-selling book or seen the movie, starring Reese Witherspoon, that’s based on the book, chances are you’ve at least heard the name Cheryl Strayed in the past few years. Strayed’s powerful memoir, Wild, chronicles her solo trek along more than 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest from California to Washington state. It was chosen as this year’s book for Eden Prairie Reads, a community-wide book club.

Strayed, who was 22 at the time, made the decision to hike the trail alone at the lowest point in her life: She was grieving the death of her mother and a failed marriage and struggling with drug addiction.

Her story is intensely personal, yet it taps into universal feelings, which is why the Eden Prairie Reads committee selected the book. “The book was chosen for its relevance to all of us who are looking to make sense of our lives and dealing with life’s challenges,” says Jody Russell, a member of the Eden Prairie Reads committee.

Since 2004, Eden Prairie Reads has highlighted a different book as a part of a city- wide reading program designed to encourage discussion among community members. In addition to selecting the books, Eden Prairie Reads also includes several events to bring people together.

Strayed will speak and sign books at an Eden Prairie Reads event on April 7 in Eden Prairie. The committee is also planning a memoir writing class taught by The Loft Literary Center on March 18 and book discussions on March 24 at the Hennepin County Library in Eden Prairie. Visit epreads.org for details.