A celebrated writer's irresistible, candid, and eloquent account of her pursuit of worldly pleasure, spiritual devotion, and what she really wanted out of life.
Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned thirty, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to wanta husband, a house, a successful career. But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be.
To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the worldall alone. Eat, Pray, Love is the absorbing chronicle of that year. Her aim was to visit three places where she could examine one aspect of her own nature set against the backdrop of a culture that has traditionally done that one thing very well. In Rome, she studied the art of pleasure, learning to speak Italian and gaining the twenty-three happiest pounds of her life. India was for the art of devotion, and with the help of a native guru and a surprisingly wise cowboy from Texas, she embarked on four uninterrupted months of spiritual exploration. In Bali, she studied the art of balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. She became the pupil of an elderly medicine man and also fell in love the best wayunexpectedly.
An intensely articulate and moving memoir of self-discovery, Eat, Pray, Love is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own contentment and stop trying to live in imitation of societys ideals. It is certain to touch anyone who has ever woken up to the unrelenting need for change.
"Finding oneself" is arguably the most difficult subject to write well about, and most certainly the easiest genre of writing to criticize! If you're too intense people will send you up for taking yourself too seriously; but dip towards the lighthearted and you risk being written off as trite. Many critics feel Gilbert has got her tone spot on, but some feel that she has fallen into the latter category by being a little too lighthearted. Whatever the critics might think, Eat, Pray, Love has proven a hit with readers and has already been published in over twenty languages. It is also a shoe-in for a movie sometime soon (rights have already been optioned by Paramount). (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The New York Times - Jennifer Egan
Lacking a ballast of gravitas or grit, the book lists into the realm of magical thinking: nothing Gilbert touches seems to turn out wrong; not a single wish goes unfulfilled. What's missing are the textures and confusion and unfinished business of real life .... while I wouldn't begrudge this massively talented writer a single iota of joy or peace, I found myself more interested, finally, in the awkward, unresolved stuff she must have chosen to leave out.
San Francisco Chronicle - Don Lattin
Gilbert's writing is chatty and deep, confident and self-deprecating. She's a quick study and doesn't worry about leading readers down uncharted paths. That makes her work engaging and accessible but sometimes gets her and the rest of us lost in space.
The Boston Globe - Barbara Fisher
As a friend -- and as a writer -- she is innocently trusting, generous, loving, and expressive.
The Washington Post
She's a gutsy gal, this Liz, flaunting her psychic wounds and her search for faith in a pop-culture world, and her openness ultimately rises above its glib moments.
The New Yorker
Gilbert's exuberance and her self-deprecating humor enliven the proceedings: recalling the first time she attempted to speak directly to God, she says, "It was all I could do to stop myself from saying, 'I've always been a big fan of your work.'"
This insightful, funny account of her travels reads like a mix of Susan Orlean and Frances Mayes.
Los Angeles Times
A meditation on love in its many forms—love of food, language, humanity, God, and most meaningful for Gilbert, love of self.
An engaging, intelligent, and highly entertaining memoir.
The author's writing is prosaic, sometimes embarrassingly so: "I'm putting this happiness in a bank somewhere, not merely FDIC protected but guarded by my four spiritbrothers."Lacks the sparkle of her fiction.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Starred Review. Gilbert's sensuous and audacious spiritual odyssey is as deeply pleasurable as it is enlightening.
A probing, thoughtful title with a free and easy style, this work seamlessly blends history and travel for a very enjoyable read. Highly recommended.
Starred Review. Gilbert grafts the structure of romantic fiction upon the inquiries of reporting in this sprawling yet methodical travelogue of soul-searching and self-discovery.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Jordan Thought provoking In Elizabeth Gilberts book Eat, Pray, Love, I found it quite intriguing that she kicked out what was making her unhappy and took the matter into her own hands instead of seeking professional treatment. This book was very inspirational to me on a... Read More
Rated of 5
by Mickey Thought provoking The book caused me to do some introspective searching and brought an unexpected peace to my life.
It was a "page turner" for me and I hope others will benefit as I did.
Rated of 5
by Minnie I guess I understand I'm not 100 percent sure of what she's going through, but somehow I have the same kind of feeling. Do I want to say what it is? No. There are inexplicable situations that one would only leave them to the therapists. Seriously, I find her experience... Read More
Rated of 5
by Stace Disappointed I was very excited to be reading this book for a college class. I am only 27 and found myself going through a rough divorce and thought that this book would be helpful and easy to relate to. I was sadly mistaken. This book bored me to death and it... Read More
Rated of 5
by Lisa Wood Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert I was so super excited to buy this book and waited for a week for it to arrive from England.
Every day I would check the post box to see if the book had arrived, and in then had to wait for over week before it was here.
Then once I started to... Read More
Rated of 5
by Gemma Leslie Eat, Pray, Love. I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book, something along the lines of a well balanced and exciting journey of education and spirituality. With the book being described as self discovery, and everyone in the world raving about it, I thought... Read More
Elizabeth Gilbert was born in Connecticut in 1969 and was raised on a
small family tree
farm. She is the sister of the young adult novelist Catherine Murdock whose
first book Dairy Queen was published in 2006. Elizabeth went to college
in New York City in the early 1990s, and spent the years after college
traveling around the country and the world, working odd jobs, writing short
stories and essentially creating what she has referred to as her own MFA
After more than five years of sending out work for publication and collecting
only rejection letters, she finally broke onto the literary scene in 1993, when
one of her short stories was pulled from the slush pile at Esquire magazine and
published under the heading The Debut of an American Writer. It was the first time
Esquire had published a story by a previously unpublished writer since
She currently lives in New Jersey where she's at work on her new book. Exactly
what that is is unknown but on her website there is a...
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