Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertPublished by Viking, February 2006
A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER FOR OVER 200 WEEKS
American Booksellers Association Acclaimed Best Seller
#1 on the Booksense Paperback Nonfiction List for over a year!
Over Ten Million copies now in print

Conversations & Excerpts:

An excerpt from Eat, Pray, Love
A podcast of Elizabeth Gilbert answering reader’s questions on EPL
A reading group guide for Eat, Pray, Love

 

Reviews & Profiles:

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

“If a more likable writer than Gilbert is currently in print, I haven’t found him or her. … Gilbert’s prose is fueled by a mix of intelligence, wit and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible, and makes the reader only too glad to join the posse of friends and devotees who have the pleasure of listening in.”

by Jennifer Egan


TIME MAGAZINE

“An engaging, intelligent and entertaining memoir…her account of her time in India is beautiful and honest and free of patchouli-scented obscurities.”

by Lev Grossman


LOS ANGELES TIMES

“Gilbert’s journey is full of mystical dreams, visions and uncanny coincidences…Yet for every ounce of self-absorption her classical New-Age journey demands, Gilbert is ready with an equal measure of intelligence, humor and self-deprecation…Gilbert’s wry, unfettered account of her extraordinary journey makes even the most cynical reader dare to dream of someday finding God deep within a meditation cave in India, or perhaps over a transcendent slice of pizza.”

by Erika Schickel


SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER

“This is an intriguing and substantive journey recounted with verve, humor and insight. Others have preceded Gilbert in writing this sort of memoir, but few indeed have done it better.”

by John Marshall


ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS

“Fine, sometimes startling…Gilbert doesn’t wear spirituality like a fresh frock she hopes will make her pretty, but nurtures the spiritual seed within herself to find the beauty and love in everything.”

by Sarah Peasley


ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“A” – “This insightful, funny account of her travels reads like a mix of Susan Orlean and Frances Mayes…Gilbert’s journey is well worth taking.”

by Jessica Shaw


PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Gilbert (of The Last American Man) grafts the structure of romantic fiction upon the inquiries of reporting in this sprawling yet methodical travelogue of soul-searching and self-discovery. Plagued with despair after a nasty divorce, the author, in her early 30s, divides a year equally among three dissimilar countries, exploring her competing urges for earthly delights and divine transcendence. First, pleasure: savoring Italy’s buffet of delights — the world’s best pizza, free-flowing wine and dashing conversation partners — Gilbert consumes la dolce vita as spiritual succor. ‘I came to Italy pinched and thin,’ she writes, but soon fills out in waist and soul. Then, prayer and ascetic rigor: seeking communion with the divine at a sacred ashram in India, Gilbert emulates the ways of yogis in grueling hours of meditation, struggling to still her churning mind. Finally, a balancing act in Bali, where Gilbert tries for equipoise ‘betwixt and between’ realms, studies with a merry medicine man and plunges into a charged love affair. Sustaining a chatty, conspiratorial tone, Gilbert fully engages readers in the year’s cultural and emotional tapestry — conveying rapture with infectious brio, recalling anguish with touching candor — as she details her exotic tableau with history, anecdote and impression.”

by Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)


LIBRARYJOURNAL.com

A Starred Review.  “A probing, thoughtful title with a free and easy style, this work seamlessly blends history and travel for a very enjoyable read. Highly recommended.”

by Jo-Anne Mary Benson


BOOKLIST

A Starred Review.  “Gilbert, author of The Last American Man (2002) and a well-traveled I’ll-try-anything-once journalist, chronicles her intrepid quest for spiritual healing. Driven to despair by a punishing divorce and an anguished love affair, Gilbert flees New York for sojourns in the three Is. She goes to Italy to learn the language and revel in the cuisine, India to meditate in an ashram, and Indonesia to reconnect with a healer in Bali. This itinerary may sound self-indulgent or fey, but there is never a whiny or pious or dull moment because Gilbert is irreverent, hilarious, zestful, courageous, intelligent, and in masterful command of her sparkling prose. A captivating storyteller with a gift for enlivening metaphors, Gilbert is Anne Lamott’s hip, yoga-practicing, footloose younger sister, and readers will laugh and cry as she recounts her nervy and outlandish experiences and profiles the extraordinary people she meets. As Gilbert switches from gelato to kundalini Shakti to herbal cures Balinese-style, she ponders the many paths to divinity, the true nature of happiness, and the boon of good-hearted, sexy love. Gilbert’s sensuous and audacious spiritual odyssey is as deeply pleasurable as it is enlightening.”

by Donna Seaman


Alan Richman’s take on “Eat, Pray, Love”

“Spilling out of this funny (and profound) circus car of a book are dozens of mesmerizing characters, people you’ll envy Liz Gilbert for finding, valuing, loving and, I couldn’t help noticing, joining for irresistible meals. I’ve never read an adventure quite like one, where a writer packs up her entire life and takes it on the road.”

by Alan Richman


Anne Lamott on “Eat, Pray, Love”

“This is a wonderful book, brilliant and personal, rich in spiritual insight, filled with sorrow and a great sense of humor. Elizabeth Gilbert is everything you would love in a tour guide, of magical places she has traveled to both deep inside and across the oceans: she’s wise, jaunty, human, ethereal, hilarious, heartbreaking, and God, does she pay great attention to the things that really matter.”

by Anne Lamott


Jack Kornfield says about “Eat, Pray, Love”

“Elizabeth Gilbert takes us on pilgrimage, with the humor, insight and charm that only come with honest self-revelation and good writing.”

by Jack Kornfield

 

AN UPDATE ON “Eat, Pray, Love”

Readers of EAT PRAY LOVE sometimes ask if I am still in touch with the people I met along the way during that journey, and I am delighted to report that I am in close contact with all of them. In fact, I even married one of them (that nice Brazilian fellow, of course, who now lives with me in New Jersey, bless his heart.) I also make it a point to visit LUCA SPAGHETTI in Italy whenever possible – and we spent Christmas together on my parents’ farm a few years back. My language-partner twin Giovanni is thriving in Rome in his career as a journalist, and he came to New Jersey not long ago to visit me during a Bruce Springsteen pilgrimage. My dear friend Iva Nasr — who, in EPL, encouraged me to write a petition to God about my divorce — is, luckily enough, available to guide others these days in a similar fashion. Check out her website. Sofie from Sweden is happily dividing her time between London and an evolving love story in America, and she and I try to meet up somewhere in the world, whenever we can. Yude is still living in Indonesia, working as a tour guide and making music. Best of all, both Ketut Liyer and my friend Wayan the healer are absolutely thriving. Please do go visit them if you are ever in the town of Ubud, Bali. They would be most happy to receive you, and anyone in town can point you in their direction. If you need a guide in Bali, contact my sweet friend Mario at the Ubud Inn, at mariourip@yahoo.com.

 

Also – on the topic of Bali, I can’t say enough wonderful things about Robin Lim, an American-born woman who runs the Bumi Sehat Foundation, based in Ubud. Robin is an extraordinary midwife who has dedicated her life to supporting the mothers and babies of Indonesia. Robin’s clinic is the best place on the island for any woman to find access to safe care during pregnancy – and for Balinese Muslim women (a not-always-embraced minority) her clinic is a special haven, where they are sure to always be treated with respect and kindness. Of course, Robin is operating on a shoestring budget, but it’s amazing what she can do with so little. She delivers 60 to 70 babies a month (the woman appears to never sleep) as well as offering prenatal care and breast-feeding support. The clinic has been so successful that Robin has expanded her work to Aceh (site of the recent Tsunami disaster, where she arrived at the scene of the tragedy even before the Red Cross got there) and she’s looking to open a new clinic in Timor (which has the highest infant mortality rate in all of Asia.) If you can, please make a donation, and be as generous with your financial support as you can be. All donations are tax-deductible, and you can be sure your money will be well spent bringing gorgeous new babies safely into the world. Robin desperately needs to build a new clinic that will not only provide more beds (she often takes recovering post-natal moms into her own home) but will also be earthquake proof, and ready to support the larger community in case of a natural disaster. Your donation will help enormously. And if you happen to going to Bali, take a look at the WISH LIST on her website, and see if you can pack up an extra suitcase full of gifts for the clinic. Every blanket and every toothbrush helps as much as every dollar. Robin Lim is what we all should strive to be – a great, abundant, generous, warm and tirelessly running faucet of humanity and grace.

 

Richard T.“Terribly sad news. My dear friend Richard from Texas has passed away. He had been a heart patient for years, and it finally caught up with him. He passed away quietly, at home, with a smile on his face. There was no sign of struggle or pain. (I can just hear him saying, “Don’t make a big production out of it, Groceries.”) As everyone who read ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ knew, Richard was one of a kind. He was a guardian to my life at a moment when I needed a great deal of care, and I know that his delightful and sometimes twisted words of wisdom have touched the lives of countless others, as well. One last teaching from the master: I once asked Richard if he was afraid of death. He said, “The only thing I know for sure about death is that it seems to take most people by surprise.” But I don’t think death took Richard by surprise, nor did he fear it. I think he saw death coming, walked right up to it and shook its hand. I think he made friends with it. That was his way. I hope I someday have the grace to do the same. I loved this man with all my heart, and I will never forget him.”

LG