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Mon November 4, 2013
Study Up for ‘Think’: Superstar Author Elizabeth Gilbert Is More Than Just 'Eat, Pray, Love'
Eat, Pray, Love convinced millions of readers they had Elizabeth Gilbert figured out. But her new historical novel The Signature of All Things is a leap away from the mega-hit memoir-turned-film. Before she’s in the studio with Think host Krys Boyd today at 1 p.m., let's look at why Gilbert has been compared to Hemingway just as she’s been deemed a “chick-lit” author.
- While on the very masculine GQ staff, Gilbert was the profiler-apparent of male figures like Hank Williams III . Her editorial interests then eventually gave way to the very female indulgence of Eat, Pray, Love. “I spent much of my life trying not to be a girl,” Gilbert told The Rumpus last year. (Conversely, Gilbert also bartended at the original Coyote Ugly Saloon.)
- The Last American Man, Gilbert’s chronicling of famous Appalachian hiker Eustace Conway’s adventures, was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2002. Gilbert had worked with the naturalist’s little brother Judson on a ranch in Wyoming - a string of menial jobs she took before breaking into a magazine career. One day Judson decided to visit her, and showed up at her apartment in New York City with Eustace. The rest is (published) history.
- For all of her steely ambition, Gilbert has no patience for those who knock the less-seasoned readers reached by Eat, Pray, Love. There's lots to this point in a recent NY Times profile. There was a woman in her ‘60s who told Gilbert at a Tulsa Barnes & Noble that Eat, Pray, Love was the first book she’d ever read. Of that shade of patron, Gilbert says: “So if that’s the kind of reader I’m not supposed to want, well, Jesus Christ. Give me a few thousand more of those!”
Elizabeth Gilbert will speak at Authors Live! at 7 p.m. this evening at Highland Park Methodist Church. Find out how to go.
Listen to Think at noon and 9 p.m. Find the podcast for this show here.
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