This underrated Cheryl Strayed book is coming to TV

Before there was Wild — Cheryl Strayed’s dazzling and dizzying memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail — there was “Dear Sugar”: Her incomparable, intimate, and (originally) anonymous advice column for The Rumpus. From its inception, “Dear Sugar” was unlike any advice column that the world had ever seen: It was unabashed and unconventional and, occasionally, unsure. Sugar felt like the collective big sister/mother/cool aunt/BFF we’d never had, and the column quickly became a cult favorite around the web.

In 2012, a collection of the best of the best of “Dear Sugar” was turned into a book, called Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar — and to the excitement of many, that book is now officially coming to TV. According to Deadline, HBO is developing a new show inspired by Tiny Beautiful Things, “set to explore love, loss, lust and life through the eyes of a Portland family who live by the mantra that the truth will never kill you.” The series will be adapted for the screen by Sugar (Strayed) and her husband, Mr. Sugar (documentary filmmaker Brian Lindstorm) — and it’s guaranteed to be all kinds of amazing.

According to Deadline, the duo will also serve as executive producers, alongside the stars of Wild‘s film adaptation, Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. There’s no word yet on who will be directing or who will star as Strayed and Lindstorm, but we still can’t wait to see it.

In case it isn’t clear, now is the time to convert to the Church of Dear Sugar if you haven’t already. Tiny Beautiful Things is filled to the brim with wisdom and tenderness and wit. It’s funny and devastating in turns; endlessly comforting and occasionally tough with its love. I checked it out from the library on recommendation from a couple editors in the HG office — and after reading the first column, I put the book down and said, “Holy s–t.”

If you need more convincing: On our second date, my current partner and I went for a hike in Angeles National Forest, in search of the best spot to see the Blood Moon. I was unprepared for a hike — it was hot and I was wearing sandals — and I stumbled to keep up with him. At the time, I was about halfway through Tiny Beautiful Things, and I couldn’t stop gushing. I took it out of my bag and read him a passage, and even though I could feel myself turning red and choking for air, I kept reading. Eventually, we reached a crest and he stopped. The space between us slowly grew smaller, until I walked past him and he reached out to hold me and the moment became a tiny beautiful thing of its own.

All this to say, the book has its own special kind of magic, and it is an absolute must-read that you’ll want to share with everyone around you. As a reader, it’s one of those books that makes you feel like you’re being heard for the first time. As a writer, it’s one of those things you read and wish you’d written. Tiny Beautiful Things should be savored, tear-stained, and dogeared into oblivion — and we can’t wait to see it come to life.

You can buy Tiny Beautiful Things via The Rumpus right here; but if you’re more aural, they also turned the column into a podcast last year.

(Image via The Rumpus.)

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