Elizabeth Gilbert was born in 1969 in Connecticut. She grew up on a
small family tree farm, with her sister, novelist and historian Catharine
Gilbert Murdock (author of Dairy Queen, the first in a series for teens).
She attended New York University and graduated in 1991 with a BA in Political
In addition to writing books, she has worked steadily as a journalist. Throughout much of the 1990s she was on staff at SPIN Magazine, where she chronicled diverse individuals and subcultures, covering everything from rodeo's Buckle Bunnies (reprinted in The KGB Bar Reader) to Chinas headlong construction of the Three Gorges Dam. In 1999, Elizabeth began working for GQ magazine, where her profiles of extraordinary men from singers Hank Williams III and Tom Waits (reprinted in The Tom Waits Reader) to quadriplegic athlete Jim Maclaren earned her three National Magazine Award Nominations, as well as repeated appearances in the Best American magazine writing anthologies. She has also written for such publications as The New York Times Magazine, Real Simple, Allure, Travel and Leisure and O, the Oprah Magazine (where her memoir "Eat, Pray, Love" was excerpted in March, 2006.) She has been a contributor to the Public Radio show "This American Life", and has several times shown up at John Hodgman's Little Gray Book Lecture Series, most notably during Lecture Four on the subject "Hints for Public Singing."
She lives with her husband in New Jersey.
This biography was last updated on 04/04/2016.
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The realization that you did not want to have children serves as a turning point in the reevaluation of your life that led to divorce. Later you quote Virginia WoolfAcross the broad continent of a womans life falls the shadow of a swordwriting about a womans choice between convention and tradition versus a far more interesting yet perilous life. Do you think this is as true today for the modern, urban American woman?
When modern American women make the deliberate choice not to have children they are still called upon to defend that choice, in a culture where motherhood is still regarded as the natural evolution of a womans life. But I remember my own mother musing once that she thought women had been sold a bill of goods during the 1970s, in terms of being promised that they could have everything simultaneouslyfamily, career, marriage, privacy, equality, femininity, and autonomy. Reality has taught us that no woman can build an honest life without sacrificing something along the way. Deciding what will be sacrificed is not easy. But the good news is this: increasingly, that decision is ours.
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