‘Eat, Pray, Loathe’? More Reconsiderations of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Travel Memoir, ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  02.11.08 | 2:55 PM ET

Release. Praise. Bestseller. Julia Roberts. End-of-year lists. Oprah. Juggernaut. Now, two years after its debut, comes the next phase: Reconsideration of—and backlash against—Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love.”

Today on World Hum, Rolf Potts takes a look at the book through the lenses of gender and “adventure porn.” The New York Post and Jezebel recently weighed in with some unkind words, and last week Stephen Metcalf, Katie Roiphe and Julia Turner debated the merits of the book during Slate’s Audio Book Club. USA Today’s Carol Memmott even chronicled the “inevitable backlash” against a book that has sold gazillions.

Gilbert responded to the backlash in the USA Today piece. She e-mailed Memmott:

I understand people’s objections to anything that smacks of the New Age movement (the criticism being that this kind of loosey-goosey spiritual seeking is a just a free-for-all of well-heeled Westerners randomly shoplifting rituals and symbols from all the world’s more exotic religions). ... Mine is just a simple old human story—of one person trying, with great rigor and discipline, to comprehend her personal relationship with divinity.

Gilbert spoke more about her book last year during an Authors@Google visit.

Related on World Hum:
* Revisiting ‘Eat, Pray, Love’: A ‘Transcendently Great Beach Book’
* Big City, Bright Lights, Shady Bars
* One Man’s Odyssey into ‘Eat, Pray, Love’


1 Comment for ‘Eat, Pray, Loathe’? More Reconsiderations of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Travel Memoir, ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’

Carol D. O'Dell 02.12.08 | 12:51 PM ET

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about what most poeple are doing—redefining their religion and spirituality to better suit them. This is nothing new. It’s making it personal, incorporating aspects of their childhood faith and mixing it with a smattering of other religions and spiritual teachings.
Does it work?
If “religion” or “spirituality” gives a person a sense of peace and purpose then I say it works.
Faith and religion are always redefining itself. It is not, nor has it ever been written in stone, and as we move into more and more of a world culture, it’s only natural to gather and weave spirituality and faith into a new garment to warm ourselves with.
Gilbert appears to be honest and forthright in her quest for God and matters of faith.
I hope the said is said about me.
~Carol D. O’Dell
Author of Mothering Mother: A Daughter’s Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.