Cheryl Strayed Talks Money

The latest issue of Scratch Mag is SO GOOD and filled with women I’m obsessed with. An excerpt from Beth Lisick’s book (the best essay in the book, I think)! An Ellen Willis essay! And this amazing interview between Manjula Martin and Cheryl Strayed, where Strayed shares her advances for her first novel and her bestselling memoir, Wild ($100k and $400k, respectively), talks about what it’s like to have money now, the kind of credit card debt she went into writing these books (MUCH), and the difference between poverty and poverty by choice.

You were raised working class. Have you switched classes now?

You know when I switched classes? When I was 18 and I went to college. I mean, I think you can go to college and stay working class, but I culture-hopped. Class is so complicated. We think it’s about money, but it’s about culture, too. After the experience of college, even though I was poor all those years, I occupied a different place in the culture than I had before. I had an education. I had a subscription to the New Yorker. I was friends with amazing people who were accomplished in all kinds of fields—essentially the elites of our world. And some of those people were poor and some were millionaires.

I haven’t actually changed in that regard at all since Wild’s success. The difference is, now, in that same tribe I’ve been in since I was 18, I’m one of the people who has money instead of one of the people who doesn’t.

The interview is free to read online if you create a login. WORTH IT.

Meanwhile in the Times, did you see that Elizabeth Gilbert is selling her house because every time she starts a new book she wants a new house? I am trying to imagine what made her think participating in this piece was a good idea, god bless her. All I can come up with is that she really wants to sell that Skybrary.

Photo: rowdykittens

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