Date of Birth: July 18, 1969
Elizabeth Gilbert was born in Waterbury, Connecticut. Growing up on a small family Christmas tree farm, she loved reading as a child and knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer.
Following high school, she attended New York University, studying political science, but continuing to write stories in her spare time. After college, she traveled around the States for a few years, working odd jobs in bars, diners and on ranches, all the while getting enough stories to begin writing her first booka short story collection called Pilgrims, which wound up as a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award.
While living in NYC, she worked as a journalist for publications such as Spin, GQ and The New York Times Magazine. She was a three-time finalist for The National Magazine work, and an article that was published in 1997 GQ, called "The Muse of the Coyote Ugly Saloon," became the basis for the 2000 movie Coyote Ugly.
That same year, Elizabeth's first novel, Stern Men, was published by Viking and became a New York Times Notable Book. Two years later, her first non-fiction book, The Last American Malethe true story of the modern day woodsman Eustace Conway, was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Elizabeth's best-known work is her 2006 memoir Eat Pray Love, which chronicled her journey alone around the world following a difficult divorce. The book was an international bestseller, translated into over 30 languages, with over 7 million copies sold worldwide. The success of the book led Time magazine to name Elizabeth as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008. It became so popular that a movie version starring Julia Roberts and James Franco was released in 2010 by Columbia Pictures.
In January 2010, Viking-Penguin published her fifth bookCommitted: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriagewhich tells the story of how Elizabeth's overcame her fears and hesitation about marrying again after she and her Brazilian sweetheart were unexpectedly "sentenced to wed" by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Gilbert lives in rural New Jersey with her husband and several pets and is currently working on a new book. When not writing, she also enjoys reading and gardening. Her sister, Catherine Gilbert Murdock, is also a successful writer.