Elizabeth Gilbert was born in 1969 in Waterbury, Connecticut and grew up on a Christmas tree farm. She had already decided in her childhood that she would become a writer. While studying Political Science at New York University, she began to compose short stories. After graduation she travelled for several years in the U.S. and other countries and worked in bars and restaurants. She collected stories and impressions that she used in her literature.
They were the inspiration for her début book »Pilgrims« (1997). In the collection she linked twelve short stories that were poignant descriptions of situations with entertaining dialogue. Both are also strengths of her subsequent publications. While Gilbert worked as a journalist for »GQ« and »New York Times Magazine« amongst others, she wrote her first novel »Stern Men« (2000), an American Romeo and Juliet variation that transforms the tragedy into a comedy. In her third work, »The Last American Man« (2002), the author captures the true story of Eustace Conway, who left his American suburban home at the age of 17 to go on an expedition in the wilderness. The survivor is a modern day hero to her. Using wit, she also succeeds to convey emotional depth in the book. Her biggest success to date is »Eat, Pray, Love« (2006). In her memoirs Gilbert describes her emotional state after her divorce and her attempt to process it. For this purpose she takes a spiritual journey through three different countries and their lifestyles. »I wanted the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India and the art to combine the two to study in Indonesia«, says the author. The work was translated into over forty languages and is an international bestseller. January 2010 her latest book, »Committed«, was published. Also autobiographical, it begins where »Eat, Pray, Love« ends and assesses the purpose and structure of marriage today, in the western world and beyond, as well as its historical and cultural antecedents.
The author’s works have been shortlisted for the Pen Award of the Hemingway Foundation, the National Book Award and others. Furthermore, due to her success »Time Magazine« named Elizabeth Gilbert in its yearly list of the »100 most influential people in the world«. The writer lives and works in New Jersey.