Saturday, February 6, 2021, 7:30 PM EST

Online Event

$10 individual tickets
Free for Virginia Tech students
Included with Spring Fan(fare) Pass


A recording will remain available to ticket holders for seven days following the live event.

“Heart-wrenching…a beautiful testament to the power of education to open eyes and change lives.”  —The New York Times Book Review about Educated

Moderated by Amy Azano, associate professor, School of Education

Tara Westover's bestselling memoir, Educated, has captured worldwide attention. Growing up in rural Idaho in a survivalist family, Westover had no birth certificate and no formal schooling. At 17 she decided to educate herself, escaping her family to eventually earn a doctorate from Cambridge University. Westover's redemptive story shows how a young woman's unquenchable thirst for knowledge leads her to break ties from an early life of hardship and brutality. She explores the tension between loyalty to one's family and loyalty to oneself.

Livestreamed exclusively for the Moss Arts Center from her home, the author will be interviewed by Amy Azano, associate professor in Virginia Tech's School of Education, and answer audience members' questions. Azano's research interests include rural literacies and the literacy needs of special populations, particularly those in rural communities.

Born to a father opposed to public education, Westover spent her days working in his Southeastern Idaho junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother, a self-taught herbalist and midwife. Taught to read by an older brother, her education was erratic and incomplete, and she was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. After that first encounter with education she pursued learning for a decade, graduating magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2008 and subsequently winning a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned a master of philosophy from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2009 and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University in 2010. She returned to Cambridge and was awarded a Ph.D. in history in 2014.

In 2018 she published Educated, which explores her struggle to reconcile her desire for education and autonomy with her desire to be loyal to her family. Educated was an instant commercial and critical success, debuting at number one on the New York Times bestseller list and remaining on the list for more than a year. To date, Educated has sold more than 3 million copies and is expected to be translated into 36 languages. President Barack Obama included Educated on his annual reading list, calling it "remarkable," and Bill Gates listed it as one of his favorite books of the year, saying, "It's even better than you've heard." For her staggering impact, TIME Magazine named Westover one of the most influential people of 2018.

Presented in partnership with the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, University Libraries, Center for Humanities, and Department of English


HomeStage Series

The Moss Arts Center brings the stage to your home—or wherever you want to experience great performances. We're partnering with artists and other performing arts presenters from across the country, tapping into our collective creativity to bring you inspirational performances and unparalleled access to artists. Get up close and personal with the artists during performances and conversations and learn more about them and their work through moderated discussions and questions and answers from the audience—all from the comfort of your own home. Grab your favorite snack, kick back, and settle in. You're guaranteed to have a front row seat.

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As you enjoy this season’s acclaimed artists on our virtual stage, please consider supporting the Moss Arts Center to help us continue to stand strong as your home for the arts.