Elizabeth Gilbert

Staff Picks: Natalie Prass, ‘Silicon Valley”s New Woman Engineer, and Will Ferrell as Harry Caray

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

  • 0

27 Writers on Whether or Not to Get Your MFA

Now that September is here and school is back in session, a writer’s thoughts turn to the eternal question: Is an MFA worth it? Ever since the publication of the Chad Harbach-edited anthology MFA vs. NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction earlier in the year, the perennial neurosis about whether or not an advanced degree in writing is worth it has become a progressively louder conversation. It’s one that we should be having, considering the explosion of the MFA in the past 40 years: from a mere 79 programs in 1979 to 854 today, according to Harbach. The MFA may even be having its moment — after all, the last shot of Girls Season 3 had Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath joyfully looking at her acceptance to Iowa. We checked in with some of our favorite writers from then and now to see what they think of the rise of the… Read More

  • 0

A Nonfiction Tour of America: 50 Books for 50 States

Whether you’re staying at home this summer or traveling around to different parts of America, the easiest way to discover what makes this country tick, in ways both maddening and beautiful, is to read some books. To aid you on this virtual journey, Flavorwire has dug up some of the best nonfiction about specific American locations — in this case, our 50 states — and found 50 books that will shed light on every corner of the… Read More

  • 3

The Skeptic’s Guide to Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is a great writer who has been, in some ways, cursed with great success. Her 2006 book Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia was such a raging, zeitgeist-capturing forever-on-the-list bestseller that it, paradoxically, practically erased her decade’s worth of work as an author that could do anything: write the hell out of a short story, books in fiction or nonfiction, and a haunting magazine feature that stays with the reader. Eat, Pray, Love turned Gilbert into “Elizabeth Gilbert” the self-help brand, a woman with a viral TED Talk and the approval of Oprah. And she still has it — she’ll be one of the “life trailblazer” speakers on Oprah’s eight-city “The Life You Want Empowerment Tour” in the fall. … Read More

  • 0

The Cheryl Strayed Effect: How the ‘Wild’ Author Became a Publishing Hero

While browsing for books a few years ago, I picked up a copy of Chloe Caldwell’s debut collection of personal essays, Legs Get Led Astray, and handed it to a friend who had asked me for a few suggestions. She looked cautiously at the little book she’d never heard of, put out by a small indie press, and flipped it over to the back. “Oh look,” she said. “There’s a Cheryl Strayed quote on the back.” Without even looking through the book any further, my friend walked to the register and purchased it. That’s when I first truly witnessed Cheryl Strayed’s impact on publishing, writers, and the book-buying public. … Read More

  • 0

12 Amazing Author Selfies

As everyone knows, 2013 was the year of the selfie, something we’ve all groaned over, bemoaning the state of kids today. But selfies aren’t just for moody teenagers — they’re also employed by moody writers! Not to mention, it seems, just about everybody else. After the jump, secretly revel in a little collection of famous authors’ selfies, both vintage and recent, serious and totally goofy. And if any of your favorites are missing here, add ’em on in the comments. Can’t have too many selfies. … Read More

  • 0

Flavorwire Interview: ‘The Signature of All Things’ and ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Author Elizabeth Gilbert Defends Female Readers

Elizabeth Gilbert’s engrossing new novel, The Signature of All Things, is the story of a 19th-century botanist named Alma Whittaker. Janet Maslin noted in her generally positive New York Times review that Alma is the sort of “serious” woman who might “never have read the 19th-century equivalent of Ms. Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. Since she has no interest in fiction, she might sniff at The Signature of All Things, too.” I’m not sure she’s quite right, since the book is a rousing account of female intellectual development, which in many ways is also the subject of Eat, Pray, Love. Gilbert was kind enough to talk to Flavorwire by phone about the book and some of those themes last week. Here’s what she said. … Read More

  • 0

15 Books You Should Definitely Not Read in Your 20s

The Internet (this site not the least bit exempt) is fond of telling you which books you should read. Particularly, it seems, when you’re in your 20s. But now that you have enough of those lists to last you a lifetime, which books should you make sure to steer clear from in this most transitional and tender of decades? Well, here are a few to consider. Disclaimer: all of these (okay, most of these) are good books. They’re books you should read. Just not in your… Read More

  • 0

These Are the Books That Make You Totally Undateable

[Editor’s note: It’s Labor Day, so your devoted Flavorwire team is taking a break. To keep you entertained, we’re leaving you with our most popular features of the summer months. This post originally ran June 15th.] We’ve always wondered how many people read specific books to seem cool — and how many people deftly sidestep talking about the books that perhaps cast them in a less-than-flattering light. Recently, we were tickled by an edition of Ask the Paris Review, wherein the always-delightful Sadie Stein answered the question “What’s a book I should read to make girls think I’m smart in a hot way?” by polling her friends and colleagues. The answers, of course, varied widely, proving that it sort of depends on the girl.

Though it’s good to know what to do to seem appealing to the opposite sex, it’s also good to know what not to do — that is, to know which books might send a potential mate running for the hills should they be spotted on your nightstand or peeking out from your back pocket. In the interest of seeing the full picture, we asked both men and women of various sexual orientations to share the books that they think render their devotees totally undateable. So click through to see which titles you should avoid like the plague — or at least hide in a desk drawer somewhere when you’re entertaining — and don’t forget to pitch in with the books that would make you cut and run in the comments. … Read More

  • 98