How is his family doing? Where is the scholarship fund?

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Jon Krakauer: Into the Wild

February 19, 1996

How is his family doing? Where is the scholarship fund?
What did Chris weigh before he began to starve?
Wasn’t death the predictable outcome of such naiveté?
This confirms my favorite magazine and Web site
If you’d given him a ride, what would you have said to him?
Will you be presenting in the East and Midwest?

How is his family doing? Where is the scholarship fund?
Q: Comment, then a question. Fantastic work, I read it in five days. The entire McCandless experience questions so much about life in the 20th century and our relationship with ourselves. Question: Has the family’s “faith” which was shaken badly by his death, returned? What is their emotional status? And is there an address for donations to the
scholarship fund? Thank you.
Paul Bonesteel

A: Chris McCandless immediate family (Walt, Billie, and Carine) are still devastated by the death of their son/brother. The loss is likely to eat at them for many years to come, I fear. And I’m not sure what the state of their religious faith is (if that’s what you’re wondering). The nature of their current belief (or lack thereof) is something
they haven’t shared with me.

Walt, Billie, and Carine have each told me that they think Into the Wild is an honest, well-told book–but I know that its publication has been very hard for them, primarily because it’s stirred up a lot of painful memories all over again, and brought a new round of unwanted attention from the media. I have immense respect for the McCandlesses,
and remain exceedingly grateful for their generosity and magnanimity, for their willingness to help me with the book despite the heartache they knew it would cause them. They were motivated to cooperate largely in the hope that my book would bring new information about Chris to light, and that more people who spent time with Chris during the last two years of his life will
come forward after reading it.

Chris’s extended family (his half-siblings from Walt’s first marriage–Sam, Shelley, Shawna, Stacy, Shannon, and Quinn, all of whom live in Colorado) also miss Chris terribly, and they, too, continue to grieve for him.

Anyone wanting to make a contribution to Chris’s scholarship fund should send it to: The Chris McCandless Memorial Fund, c/o Villard Books, 201 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022.

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

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