On Saturday, May 6, UCSB Arts & Lectures presents acclaimed author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert in conversation with writer Pico Iyer at The Granada Theatre (1214 State St.) at 7:30 p.m.
Author Anne Lamott says, “Elizabeth Gilbert is… wise, jaunty, human, ethereal, hilarious, heartbreaking, and God, does she pay great attention to the things that really matter.” Undoubtedly captivated by creativity, Gilbert will explore the curious nature of inspiration with Santa Barbara favorite Pico Iyer.
Gilbert has inspired readers all over the world with her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love and her novels Committed: A Love Story and The Signature of All Things, which was named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, NPR and Time. Through her powerful memoir, Gilbert encouraged millions to make changes in their own personal lives and has given great advice on how to lead a bold and inspired life, writing another nonfiction book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.
Graduating from New York University, Gilbert grew up in rural Connecticut in an ascetic household with a lasting appreciation for working-class values. She has worked in a Philadelphia diner, on a western ranch and in a New York City bar, all to fund her love of travel. Published in Harper’s Bazaar, Spin and The New York Times, Gilbert caught the attention of editors at GQ for her work in Spin, and soon produced striking pieces that grew into books and a film, 2000’s Coyote Ugly. Also a finalist for the National Magazine Award, her work was anthologized in Best American Writing 2001.
The Toronto Sun has called Eat, Pray, Love, “a generation’s instruction manual.” Published in 2006, the hit novel documented Gilbert’s year of traveling the world after her divorce. This memoir propelled Gilbert’s career to become the woman Oprah Winfrey has called a “rock star author,” later being made into a feature film starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem.
The sequel, Committed: A Love Story, was published in 2010 and details Gilbert’s spontaneous second marriage to Felipe, whom she falls in love with in at the end of the first novel, speaking on marriage as a sociohistorical institution with the same characteristic humor and style as in the first bestseller.
Gilbert’s novel The Signature of All Things was called “the novel of a lifetime” by O, The Oprah Magazine and is said to be “that rare literary achievement: a big, panoramic novel about life and love that captures the idiom and tenor of its age.” (The Washington Post) It is currently being produced as a miniseries by PBS’s Masterpiece.
A British-born essayist and novelist, Iyer is based in California and Japan. His books include Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, The Global Soul and his most recent work, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere. Iyer has been an essayist for Time since 1986 and is published frequently in Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times and many other publications. Through his work and his own life, he inspirationally argues for slowing down and sitting still in an age of continuous motion.