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Eat، Pray، Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy، India and Indonesia

Monday 04/December/2017 - 08:42 AM
Sada El Balad

The 10th anniversary edition of one of the most iconic، beloved، and bestselling books of our time.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love touched the world and changed countless lives، inspiring and empowering millions of readers to search for their own best selves. Now، this beloved and iconic book returns in a beautiful 10th anniversary edition، complete with an updated introduction from the author، to launch a whole new generation of fans.

In her early thirties، Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want—husband، country home، successful career—but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled، she was consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success، and set out to explore three different aspects of her nature، against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy، devotion in India، and on the Indonesian island of Bali، a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.

Paperback: 400 pages
Book by Elizabeth Gilbert
Publisher: Riverhead Books (January 30، 2007)
Language: English
Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.4 inches

About the Author
Elizabeth Gilbert is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love، Big Magic، and several other internationally bestselling books of fiction and nonfiction. She began her career writing for Harper's Bazaar، Spin، The New York Times Magazine and GQ، and was a three-time finalist for the National Magazine Award. Her story collection Pilgrims was a finalist for the PENHemingway award; The Last American Man was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The follow-up memoir Committed became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. Her latest novel، The Signature of All Things، was named a Best Book of 2013 by The New York Times، O Magazine، The Washington Post، The Chicago Tribune، and The New Yorker. Gilbert’s short fiction has appeared in Esquire، Story، One Story، and the Paris Review.

Editorial Reviews

"If a more wonderful 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." —Jennifer Egan، The New York Times Book Review

"An engaging، intelligent، and highly entertaining memoir... [Her] account of her time in India is beautiful and honest and free of patchouli-scented obscurities." —Lev Grossman، Time

"A meditation on love in many forms... 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." —Los Angeles Times

"Gilbert's memoir reads like the journal of your most insightful، funny friend as she describes encounters with healers، ex-junkies، and (yes!) kind، handsome men." —Glamour

"Readable [and] funny... By the time she and her lover sailed into a Bali sunset، Gilbert had won me over. She's a gutsy gal، this Liz، flaunting her psychic wounds and her search for faith in a pop-culture world." —The Washington Post

"This insightful، funny account of her travels reads like a mix of Susan Orlean and Frances Mayes... Gilbert's journey is well worth taking." —Entertainment Weekly ("A" rating)

"Be advised that the supremely entertaining Eat Pray Love—a mid-thirties memoir by the endlessly talented Elizabeth Gilbert—is not just for the ladies، fellas." —GQ

"Compulsively readable... Think Carrie Bradshaw cut loose from her weekly column، her beloved New York City، and her trio of friends، riffing her way across the globe on an assortment of subjects ranging from the 'hands-down most amazing' Sicilian pasta she's ever tasted to her reason for buying sexy lingerie to our collective، species-driven instinct for being on the planet." —Elle

"Gilbert's exuberance and her self-deprecating humor enliven the proceedings: recalling the first time she attempted to speak directly to God، she says، 'It was all I could do to stop myself from saying، "I've always been a big fan of your work." ' " —The New Yorker

"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." —Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"In this engrossing and captivating travel memoir، journalist Liz Gilbert globe-trots for a year to Italy، India، and Indonesia... Lucky for us، the lessons she learns are entirely importable." —Marie Claire

"Gilbert's writing is chatty and deep، confident and self-deprecating... that makes her work engaging and accessible." —San Francisco Chronicle

"As a friend--and as a writer--Gilbert is innocently trusting، generous، loving، and expressive." —The Boston Globe

"Gilbert is an irresistible narrator—funny، self-deprecating، fiercely intelligent... [She's] such a sincere seeker... [It's] impossible not to applaud her breakthrough." —Salon.com

"An intimate account of a spiritual journey. But it's also a zippy travelogue with rich، likeable characters...You will laugh، cry، and love with a more open heart." —Rocky Mountain News

"Gilbert is a witty، funny، and likeable pilgrim on a hero's journey." —The Oregonian

"Run-of-the-mill envy doesn't begin to describe what many readers must feel when devouring Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love." —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Gilbert (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.

From The New Yorker
At the age of thirty-one، Gilbert moved with her husband to the suburbs of New York and began trying to get pregnant، only to realize that she wanted neither a child nor a husband. Three years later، after a protracted divorce، she embarked on a yearlong trip of recovery، with three main stops: Rome، for pleasure (mostly gustatory، with a special emphasis on gelato); an ashram outside of Mumbai، for spiritual searching; and Bali، for "balancing." These destinations are all on the beaten track، but Gilbert's exuberance and her self-deprecating humor enliven the proceedings: recalling the first time she attempted to speak directly to God، she says، "It was all I could do to stop myself from saying، 'I've always been a big fan of your work.'"

From Bookmarks Magazine
It's easy to envy Elizabeth Gilbert: she has had a run of successful، critically lauded books (National Book Award finalist for The Last American Man; Pushcart Prize winner for Pilgrims) and has sustained a successful career as a journalist for Spin and GQ. Her "trademark conversational" prose (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) is on display in her first memoir-cum-travelogue، yet not all reviewers are pleasantly engaged. They agree that the 108 chapters of the book (the same number of Buddhist prayer beads on a japa mala) are filled with interesting characters and vivid descriptions. But some critics feel Gilbert's likability and humor obscure the deeper themes of her search for enlightenment.

From Booklist
*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. Donna Seaman

From The Washington Post
The only thing wrong with this readable، funny memoir of a magazine writer's yearlong travels across the world in search of pleasure and balance is that it seems so much like a Jennifer Aniston movie. Like Jen، Liz is a plucky blond American woman in her thirties with no children and no major money worries. As the book opens، she is going through a really bad divorce and subsequent stormy rebound love affair. Awash in tears in the middle of the night on the floor of the bathroom، she begins to pray for guidance، "you know -- like، to God." God answers. He tells her to go back to bed. I started seeing the Star headlines: "Jen's New Faith!" "What Really Happened at the Ashram!" "Jen's Brazilian Sugar Daddy -- Exclusive Photos!" Please understand that Gilbert، whose earlier nonfiction book، The Last American Man، portrayed a contemporary frontiersman، is serious about her quest. But because she never leaves her self-deprecating humor at home، her journey out of depression and toward belief lacks a certain gravitas. The book is composed of 108 short chapters (based on the beads in a traditional Indian japa mala prayer necklace) that often come across as scenes in a movie. And however sad she feels or however deeply she experiences something، she can't seem to avoid dressing up her feelings in prose that can get too cute and too trite. On the other hand، she convinced me that she acquired more wisdom than most young American seekers -- and did it without peyote buttons or other classic hippie medicines. When Gilbert determines that she requires a year of healing، her first stop is Italy، because she feels she needs to immerse herself in a language and culture that worships pleasure and beauty. This sets the stage for a "Jen's Romp in Rome،" where she studies Italian and، with newfound friends، searches for the best pizza in the world. It's a considerable achievement because she is still stalked by Depression and Loneliness، which she casts as "Pinkerton Detectives" -- Depression، the wise guy، and Loneliness، "the more sensitive cop." They frisk her، "empty my pockets of any joy I had been carrying" and relentlessly interrogate her about why she thinks she deserves a vacation، considering what a mess she's made of her life. After literally eating herself out of depression، she returns to the United States for Christmas holidays. Next stop: the ashram. It seems Gilbert has been a student of yoga and meditation for years. Her rural Indian experience features Gilbert grappling mightily with some of the meditative practices. She finds quirky co-practitioners such as Richard from Texas، a former truck driver، alcoholic and Birkenstock dealer. Richard nicknames her "Groceries" because of her appetite at meals and offers wise advice. Picture Willie Nelson in a non-singing cameo role. Gilbert acknowledges that Americans have had difficulty accepting the idea of meditation and gurus، and she does a mostly fine job in making her ashram education accessible. She deftly sketches the physical stress of sitting in one position for hours، as well as the metaphysical stress of staying on message. Still، Gilbert sounds like a giddy teenager as she describes her relationship with Swamiji، the yogi who founded the ashram where she is studying: "I'm finding that all I want is Swamiji. All I feel is Swamiji.... It's the Swamiji channel، round the clock." The concluding 36 beads find Gilbert in Bali، palling around with an ageless medicine man who looks like Yoda، a Balinese mother and nurse، Wayan، who is a refugee from domestic violence، and other colorful characters. Gilbert is healed enough by now to render a really good deed: She raises $18،000 via e-mail from American friends for Wayan to buy a house. ("Jen: Bigger Do-Gooder Than Brad?") And after 18 months of self-imposed celibacy، she finds mature، truer love thanks to a charming older Brazilian businessman. Eat، Pray، Love as a whole actually is better than its 108 beads. By the time she and her lover sailed into a Bali sunset، Gilbert had won me over. She's a gutsy gal، this Liz، flaunting her psychic wounds and her search for faith in a pop-culture world، and her openness ultimately rises above its glib moments. Memo to Jen -- option this book. -- Grace Lichtenstein is a travel writer and author of six books who lives in New York and Santa Fe، N.M.

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