Truly Wild

In the early 1990s, journalist Jon Krakauer, who was working on the modern-day classic Into the Wild, invited Carine McCandless to talk about why her brother, Chris, cut ties with his family and journeyed into the Alaskan wilderness, where he died of starvation. Carine decided it would be best to downplay the violence that she and Chris experienced growing up. Krakauer respected her wishes and left the family’s history of abuse out of his book.

Nearly two decades later, after Into the Wild became a mega-hit and many dismissed Chris’s going off the grid as lunacy, Carine reconsidered her position and decided to chronicle her lifelong struggle as a survivor of domestic violence in her memoir, The Wild Truth. “People think they understand our story because they know how his ended, but they don’t know how it all began,” she writes.

The book guides readers through the siblings' traumatic childhood and Chris’s death and into the present, as her family wrangles with his legacy. “I wrote this book to honor my brother, Chris, and to tell my story and honor other people who face domestic violence,” she says.

Carine McCandless will read from and sign her book tonight at 7 p.m. at the Tattered Cover, 2526 East Colfax Avenue. For more information, go to or call 303-322-7727.
Tue., Nov. 18, 7 p.m., 2014

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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris