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Elizabeth Gilbert      

Author of "Eat, Pray, Love"; Short Story Writer; Memoirist

Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir Eat, Pray, Love has been called “a generation's instruction manual” (Toronto Sun). Exploding onto the scene in 2006, the bestseller famously chronicled the year Gilbert spent traveling the world after a shattering divorce. Translated into more than 30 languages, Eat, Pray, Love has sold over ten million copies worldwide. The book—“fueled by a mix of intelligence, wit, and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible” (The New York Times Book Review)—catapulted its author from respected but little-recognized writer to a woman Oprah Winfrey has called a “rock star author.”

Educated at New York University, Elizabeth Gilbert hails from an ascetic childhood in rural Connecticut. Fearless reporting skills and an abiding appreciation for working-class values have colored her writing from the beginning. Meanwhile, a persistent longing to understand the world and her place in it have made her not merely a writer, but an explorer. Gilbert worked in a Philadelphia diner, on a western ranch, and in a New York City bar to scrape together the funds to travel: “to create experiences to write about, gather landscapes and voices.” Her efforts weren't wasted: Gilbert's writing was published in Harper's Bazaar, Spin, and The New York Times Magazine. Her work in Spin caught the attention of editors at GQ, and she became a stalwart at that publication, producing vivid, provocative pieces that soon grew into books and even a film: 2000's Coyote Ugly. Gilbert was a Finalist for the National Magazine Award, and her work was anthologized in Best American Writing 2001.

Gilbert’s first book, a wide-ranging collection of short fiction called Pilgrims (1998), was a New York Times Most Notable Book and won the Ploughshares prize, among many other honors. Her first novel, Stern Men (2000), won the Kate Chopin Award in 2001. Her third book, The Last American Man (2002), which compellingly explores America’s long-standing intrigue with the pioneer lifestyle, was a Finalist for the National Book Award. For Gilbert, who built her journalism career writing for men’s magazines and creating powerful portraits of epic, unusual men, it is more than a little ironic to be dismissed by some critics as a writer of “chick lit.”

"I think my gift, far beyond whatever gifts that I have as a writer, my gift as a human is that I can make friends with people very quickly,” she told interviewer Frank Bures at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon. “Everything I learned about being a journalist I learned by being a bartender. The most exquisite lesson of all is that people will tell you anything. Want to. There’s no question you can’t ask if your intention is not hostile. And it’s not like entrapment; it’s more like a gorgeous revelation. People want to tell the story that they have.”

With Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert attracted an adoring international audience. The courage and humor that mark Eat, Pray, Love make it the kind of book that people keep on their nightstands for years, pages flagged, passages highlighted, margins filled with the reader’s own thoughts and revelations. In 2010, Eat, Pray, Love was made into a feature film starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem—an experience Gilbert has called “surreal,” “amazing” and “touching.”

In 2010, Gilbert published Committed: A Love Story, the breathlessly anticipated follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love. Committed tells the story of Gilbert's unexpected plunge into second marriage—this time to Felipe, the man with whom she falls in love at the end of Eat, Pray, Love. Part memoir, part meditation on marriage as a sociohistorical institution, Committed is rich with Gilbert's trademark humor, sparkling prose, and warm, intimate voice—and she is quite grateful to be forever liberated from the pressure to write the follow-up to *Eat, Pray, Love. *

Named as one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, O Magazine, NPR, and TIME, Gilbert's novel The Signature of All Things is a sweeping story of botany, exploration and desire, spanning across much of the 19th century. The author's first novel in over a decade, it was by O Magazine as “the novel of a lifetime" and praised by The Washington Post as "that rare literary achievement: a big, panoramic novel about life and love that captures the idiom and tenor of its age." It is being produced as a miniseries by PBS's Masterpiece.

Ten years ago, Gilbert captivated the world with her powerful and transformative memoir Eat Pray Love, encouraging millions of readers to make changes, large and small, in their own lives. In the ensuing decade, people worldwide have sought further advice from Gilbert on how to lead a bold and inspired life and she has dedicated herself to exploring the mysteries of creativity and courage. Out of this period of investigation Gilbert has written a brilliant nonfiction treatise on creativity: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

Gilbert makes her home in a Victorian house in New Jersey, where she writes and owns an import store, Two Buttons, with her husband.


Elizabeth Gilbert's 'Signature of All Things' - NYTimes.com

Elizabeth Gilbert's novel "The Signature of All Things" is about a botanist whose hunger for explanations carries her through the better part of Darwin's century.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Big Magic’ inspires creativity
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