CORVALLIS, Ore. - Cheryl Strayed, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, "Wild," will speak at Oregon State University as part of their Discovery Lecture Series on Jan. 15.

Her talk, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m., in the LaSells Stewart Center Austin Auditorium. It will be followed by book sales and signing by the author.

At the age of 22, Strayed found herself shattered by two major life events: her mother's sudden death from cancer and the end of her young marriage. After hitting rock bottom, Strayed decided to confront her emotional pain by trekking more than 1,000 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail.

"Wild" tells the amateur hiker's tale, peppered with the colorful characters she encounters along the way, as she struggles to find inner peace and stability. Her story inspired Oprah Winfrey to revive her popular book club, with "Wild" as its inaugural selection. The story also inspired producer and actress Reese Witherspoon to bring "Wild" to the big screen in 2014 (It will premiere in Corvallis on Dec. 25).

Strayed is also the author of The New York Times bestseller "Tiny Beautiful Things," a collection of her "Dear Sugar" columns, and the critically acclaimed novel "Torch," a finalist for the Great Lakes Book Award. 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 26 languages around the world.

The Discovery Lecture Series brings prominent scientists, acclaimed writers and key policymakers to Oregon State to present on matters of national and international importance. This installment of the Discovery Lecture is supported by the Office of the Provost, the OSU Foundation and the Hundere Endowment in Religion and Culture.

Editor's note: Interviews with Strayed must be arranged by Random House Inc. To contact her publicist, email theresa.hogue@oregonstate for contact information.

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