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Tag: Elizabeth Gilbert (1-7 of 7)

'Eat Pray Love' author Elizabeth Gilbert on the books of her life

To celebrate the paperback publication of her triumphant return to fiction, The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert, author or Eat, Pray, Love, talked to us about the books she loves, her literary blind spots, and the works that have shaped her as a writer and as a person.

My favorite childhood books
The Wizard of Oz series. Those stories are such a wild and unpredictable protofeminist mythological fever dream. What’s not to love? Also, as a restless farm girl myself, I identified, big-time.

The book I enjoyed most in school
In third grade, a thoughtful teacher introduced us to The Phantom Tollbooth. I think school reading pretty much peaked right there.

A book I read in secret
I am a child of the 1970s, so my secret reading was—and could only ever have been—that thrillingly wicked mixed classic cocktail of Forever and Flowers in the Attic.

The book that cemented me as a writer
I love that you think I’m cemented as a writer.

The books I’ve read over and over
The only things I can go back to forever and ever, without tiring, are certain poems. Walt Whitman will always be there. Also, Sharon Olds, Jack Gilbert, Seamus Heaney, Hafiz, Tennyson, good old Mary Oliver. I suppose this is because reading poetry is like listening to music, and you never get tired of your favorite songs.

A classic I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read
God help me, but it’s Ulysses. I’ve tried a dozen times, but I’ve never gotten past the opening pages. I feel like I’m being punk’d whenever I try to read post-Dubliners James Joyce. I always want to look up from the book and ask everyone in the world, “Seriously?! You guys are seriously following this?” READ FULL STORY

'Eat, Pray, Crib': take a virtual tour of Elizabeth Gilbert's million dollar home

So I guess when you write a best-selling memoir and it’s made into a movie starring Julia Roberts as you, you can pretty much say that you’ve made it. Elizabeth Gilbert has this luxury. I thought she’d already left the trappings of modern American success behind — including the country home — but apparently she’s leaving that behind again because she just put her 1869 Italianate Victorian in Frenchtown, NJ on the market for $999,000. (Probably for something even more luxurious). Gilbert will lead you on a twenty minute virtual tour in a video she posted called “Eat, Pray, Crib.” She’s still riding the “live vicariously through me” wave.

Her press release describes the house as “a writer’s dream” because it has a “skybrary.” It’s very unfettered bohemian to have a skybrary these days. READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Scribd launches e-books subscription service

Author Tom Clancy, best known for The Hunt for Red October, has died at 66. Follow our developing report here. READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Kelly Clarkson gives up Jane Austen's ring; Banned Books Week in full swing

Happy Banned Books Week! To celebrate, we’ve got some recommended banned books, a study on book censorship and a list of most frequently challenged books. In other news, what do Jane Austen and Kelly Clarkson have in common? Why is Paula Deen in today’s news roundup? The answers and more headlines below:

To start you off, here are five banned books Forbes says you should read. [Forbes]

None of those are children’s books, so if you want a dose of nostalgia, look no further than the American Library Association’s annual list of the “most frequently challenged” books, which found that Captain Underpants prompted the most complaints in libraries this year. [ALA]

The ALA, which organizes Banned Books Week, also found that book censors target teen fiction, a genre prone to topics about sex, drugs and suicide. [The Guardian]

Moving on to celebrity news, Kelly Clarkson was asked to leave a ring once owned by Jane Austen behind at the author’s museum. The singer had purchased the ring at an auction, but had no problem with the news, saying “The ring is a beautiful national treasure, and I am happy to know that so many Jane Austen fans will get to see it.” Looks like her life won’t suck without it. [The Guardian]

If you thought Paula Deen couldn’t get any more cartoonish, you thought wrong. The celebrity chef’s life story will be adapted into a comic book biography, Female Force: Paula Deen, by Bluewater Productions. [Forbes]

Meanwhile, Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, announced it will donate 1 million books to Reach Out and Read, a non-profit established for kids in poverty. [LA Times]

Online, the reading-based social network Goodreads is stirring up some controversy after announcing new reviewing guidelines, which will automatically delete reviews that focus on an author’s behavior rather than a book’s content. [GigaOM]

Eleanor Randolph of the New York Times is writing a biography of Michael Bloomberg that will be published by Simon & Schuster. According to the press release, the book will cover Bloomberg’s career as mayor of New York City for the past 12 years and his legacy as “a public figure of national significance.”

Finally, if you have some time to spare, head over to the New York Times for its profile of Elizabeth “Eat, Pray, Love” Gilbert, a fascinating read on the 44-year-old novelist’s career from being “one of the boys” at magazines like GQ to her image now, as an unwitting self-help guru with legions of female fans. [New York Times]

Pick the cover of 'Eat, Pray, Love' author Elizabeth Gilbert's new novel


Whether you’re drawn to Elizabeth Gilbert or repelled by her, you’re probably reacting to her massively popular 2006 memoir Eat, Pray, Love, which sold 10 million copies, caught Oprah’s attention, inspired a movie starring Julia Roberts, and — like many successful creative works by women — galvanized a vocal army of haters. Before EPL and the dutiful if forgettable follow-up Committed, she had written excellent fiction: a novel called Stern Men and a near-perfect collection of short stories called Pilgrims.

For fans of Gilbert’s fiction, it’s great news that she’s returning to the form after a 13-year absence. The Signature of All Things — an epic novel of love, ambition and 19th century botanical exploration — doesn’t come out until Oct. 1, but Gilbert is giving readers the opportunity to vote on the cover via her Facebook page. Voting begins 8 a.m. ET on Mar. 21 and ends Sunday, Mar. 24.

Which cover is your favorite? I’m leaning toward the beige one.

Follow @EWStephanLee on Twitter.

Read more:
Hyperion cancels book by Elizabeth Gilbert’s ex
Will Schwalbe discusses his affecting new memoir ‘The End of Your Life Book Club’
Cheryl Strayed talks ‘Wild,’ ‘Tiny Beautiful Things,’ Oprah, and ‘Dear Sugar’

Hyperion cancels book by Elizabeth Gilbert's ex

Michael Cooper, ex-husband of best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert—of Eat Pray Love fame—will not be publishing his side of the story. At least not yet. Cooper had struck a deal with Hyperion to write Displaced, his version of the divorce, but the New York Post reported this morning the project has been scuttled.

EW confirms with Hyperion spokeswoman Marie Coolman that “Hyperion had a deal with Michael Cooper, and the book has been cancelled.” Coolman did not give a reason for the cancellation, but the Post reported Cooper saying Hyperion wanted to “push the book in a more controversial direction,” which he said he was not willing to do.

The movie version of Eat Pray Love, starring Julia Roberts, opens Aug. 13.

Bookstore showdown: 'Eat, Pray, Love' author Elizabeth Gilbert vs. her ex

10765580Viking today announced plans for a 1 million first printing of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage, the eagerly awaited follow-up to her 2006 hit memoir Eat, Pray, Love (a gigantic phenom in paperback that prompted a now-in-production movie starring Julia Roberts). The new book explores Gilbert’s complicated feelings about marrying the Brazilian-born Australian guy she met in the Indonesia section of Eat, Pray, Love (he’ll be played by Javier Bardem on screen). Committed will hit stores in January, which a New York Times story today notes is about a year after the publisher wanted. Gilbert apparently hated a draft of the book that she’d finished in May 2008, and then begged for another year to completely retool it.

Despite the delay, Gilbert still is managing to upstage her ex-husband, Michael Cooper, the one who prompted her globe-trekking in the first place. Last month, Cooper signed a deal with Hyperion to publish Displaced, his own account of the aftermath of his divorce and his own “search for purpose” in the Middle East and several developing countries. (What was it about the Gilbert-Cooper relationship that drove both parties not only from each other, but far, far away from their homes?) Displaced is due in stores in fall 2010.

In recent years, dueling memoirs have seemed more like stunts than real literary endeavors. Consider former San Francisco socialite Pat Montandon’s Oh the Hell of It All, a score-settling response to her son Sean Wilsey’s well-reviewed dissection of his upbringing, Oh the Glory of It All. Or this year’s tabloid fodder, Tori Spelling’s Mommywood vs. Candy Spelling’s Stories From Candyland. But the Gilbert and Cooper books seem different, more serious and worthy of attention. Which of their new books are you more likely to pick up next year?

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