The American writer Elizabeth Gilbert was born in 1969 in Connecticut. Long before Gilbert rose to prominence as the voice behind the memoir Eat, Pray, Love, she grew up in the Waterbury area of the state, where the family ran a nearby Christmas tree farm. Elizabeth’s upbringing was devoid of many of the vices most young men and women today enjoy growing up – the family had no record player or television. As such, Elizabeth and her sister spent much of their time reading books; it’s little surprise that both grew up to become writers.
After graduating from New York University with her B.A. in Political Science, Gilbert worked a number of jobs, including waiting tables and cooking at a dude ranch. Her first short story, “Pilgrims,” was published in 1993. After its appearance in Esquire Magazine, Elizabeth received offers to write material for a number of notable magazines, including Travel + Leisure, Allure, SPIN, and The New York Times Magazine.
Elizabeth Gilbert published her first book – Pilgrims – in 1997. The collection of short stories earned her a Pushcart Prize and set the stage for her follow-up novel, Stern Men, in 2000. The Last American Man followed in 2002, but it was the memoir Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia, which became her big breakthrough upon its publication in 2006. The book spent nearly two hundred weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list and spawned the hit 2010 film adaptation starring Julia Roberts.
Elizabeth Gilbert has been listed on Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. Her latest memoir, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage (2010) was followed by the self-help book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (2015.) Gilbert has been known to speak frequently for organizations and at events which target women’s issues and women’s perspectives as their focus.