Elizabeth Gilbert is an essayist, short story writer, biographer, novelist and memoirist. Her memoir Eat, Pray, Love has been called “a generation’s instruction manual” (Toronto Sun). Exploding on to the scene in 2006, the bestseller has been translated into more than 30 languages and has sold over ten million copies worldwide.
There will not be a book signing for this event. However, there will be signed books of Big Magic for sale in the lobby.
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.”
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. 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.”
With Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert attracted an adoring international audience. 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. Part memoir, part meditation on marriage as a sociohistorical institution, Committed tells the story of her unexpected plunge into a second marriage.
The Signature of All Things, her first novel in twelve years, published in 2013, is a sweeping story of botany, exploration and desire, spanning across much of the 19th century. The Washington Post described it as “that rare literary achievement: a big, panoramic novel about life and love that captures the idiom and tenor of its age,” and it has been optioned by MASTERPIECE on PBS. “When I read The Signature of All Things I saw that it had everything we look for in a MASTERPIECE: an appealing, complicated central character whose life is changed, emotionally and physically, in a rich story told by a masterful writer,” says Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton. “And it’s set in Amsterdam, London, Philadelphia and Tahiti!”
And now in Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, (to be released in September) Gilbert digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity.
Gilbert lives in New Jersey, where she writes and owns an import store, Two Buttons, with her husband.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (2015) – Forthcoming September 22
The Signature of All Things (2013) – named one of the Best Books of the year by The New York Times, O Magazine, NPR and Time Magazine
Committed: A Love Story (2010) – A Number One New York Times Bestseller
Eat, Pray, Love (2006) – A New York Times Best Seller for over 200 weeks and American Booksellers Association Acclaimed Best Seller
The Last American Man (2002) – finalist for both the National Book Award and National Book Critics Award
Stern Men (2000) – The New York Times “Notable Book”
Pilgrims (1997) – Winner of the Pushcart Prize and finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award
Elizabeth Gilbert’s homepage
TED Talk: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating
Elizabeth Gilbert: The 7 books that shaped me as a writer
The New Yorker: Hitched Review
The ‘Stubborn Gladness’ of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Favorite Poet
Eat, Pray, Love, Get Rich, Write a Novel No One Expects