“We live in a culture that says you should be able to power through anything. Life will very generously remind you that you cannot, and it will very generously break you at times and very generously show you.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert (@GilbertLiz) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love, as well as several other internationally bestselling books. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her latest novel, City of Girls, was named an instant New York Times Best Seller and is a rollicking, sexy tale of the New York City theater world during the 1940s.
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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
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Want to hear an episode with another author who fearlessly follows her own path? Listen to my conversation with Cheryl Strayed in which we discuss books as religion, writing prompts and processes, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and much more.
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with Elizabeth Gilbert:
- City of Girls: A Novel by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Alpha Wolf by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Moth
- Sid & Nancy
- The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), CDC
- An Interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, Read It Forward
- Breaking Bad
- East Coker by T.S. Eliot
- Song of Myself by Walt Whitman
- Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
- The Godfather
- The Godfather Part II
- The Godfather Part III
- Little, Big by John Crowley
- Eat, Pray, Love, Get Rich, Write a Novel No One Expects, The New York Times
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- Internal Family Systems (IFS)
- Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
- Diana, Herself: An Allegory of Awakening by Martha Beck
- DIY Integrity Cleanse Kit by Martha Beck
- The School for The Work by Byron Katie
- What an Ayahuasca Retreat Showed Me about My Life, Vox
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
- The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal by Julia Cameron
- The Artist’s Date Book by Julia Cameron
- A Walk on the High Line, The New Yorker
- The High Line, New York
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
- Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
- Daisy Miller by Henry James
Note from the editor: Timestamps will be added shortly.
- Elizabeth shares who Rayya Elias was and how she’s remembered her in story at The Moth.
- The truth has legs.
- What did Elizabeth learn about her own grieving process through this experience?
- Why finding humor in the most difficult of times is crucial if we want to make it through “earth school.”
- How did Elizabeth come to know writing as her “source of light?”
- What kind of stories and storytellers make Elizabeth break out in applause?
- Seeking the edges of human imagination, using the word “interesting” to defuse drama and trauma, and counteracting co-dependence with sappy love songs.
- When working on a new project, what method of organizing and planning does she use — as learned from her ninth-grade teacher Mr. Kisco? How did it come in handy when doing research for City Of Girls, her latest book?
- The things present Liz endures for future Liz.
- What percentage of Liz’s research makes it into the final draft of a book? Does she feel what’s left over is a waste?
- What does Elizabeth take from the lessons of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations?
- What has Elizabeth learned from Martha Beck?
- On staying true to one’s inner compass before making commitments, and how Elizabeth phrases her “No” answers without remorse.
- The power of the simple no and other lessons learned from Byron Katie — or how to say no to even the most persistent and avoid negotiation when your inner compass tells you it’s the right thing to do.
- Elizabeth’s perspective on psychedelics, and words of caution for anyone hoping to use them as a quick and easy fix to complex problems.
- Using The Artist’s Way to recover your creativity from its trauma.
- Elizabeth shares an example of how she made an artist’s date.
- How closely did the book proposal for Eat, Pray, Love match the ultimate book, and were there other titles Elizabeth considered?
- Elizabeth’s take on City of Girls as a rebuttal to the cautionary tale (usually written by a man) of the woman who lives a free and open sexual life and suffers terrible consequences as a result.
- Are there any aspects or portions of anything Elizabeth has written that she wishes more people would notice more often?
- Parting thoughts.
- Rayya Elias
- Neil Gaiman
- Catherine Burns
- José Nunes
- Mary Karr
- T.S. Eliot
- Walt Whitman
- Hilary Mantel
- Henry VIII
- Kurt Vonnegut
- John Crowley
- Martha Beck
- Marcus Aurelius
- George Washington
- Michael Mithoefer
- Annie Mithoefer
- Oprah Winfrey
- Byron Katie
- Julia Cameron
- Brené Brown
- Brian Koppelman
- Gloria Vanderbilt
- Tom Sawyer
- George Saunders