Elizabeth Gilbert: Biography

Elizabeth Gilbert

18 jul 1969

Elizabeth Gilbert was born and raised in rural Connecticut, living on her family’s Christmas tree farm. She and her sister were raised by her father, a chemical engineer, and mother, a nurse, in the open countryside with no real neighbours. Gilbert has reported that the family didn’t own a television set when she was growing up, which meant that she was encouraged to read avidly. Before becoming a full-time writer, Gilbert worked in various jobs, including as a cook and a waitress.

Gilbert has said in interviews that the books she read as a child have influenced her greatly as a writer. Works such as Frank L. Baum’s, The Wizard of Oz, played a huge part in the development of her imagination. Her love of Charles Dickens and the tradition of the social novel can be seen as clear inspirations and influences on many of her literary works.

Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for her memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, which was also turned into a blockbuster Hollywood film. The memoir was an international bestseller, having sold more than 10 million copies in thirty different languages. In addition to her memoirs, biographies and other works of non-fiction, she has also written two novels: Stern Men and The Signature of All Things. The Signature of All Things was recognised as a Best Book of 2013 in The New York Times.

Elizabeth Gilbert now lives in New Jersey with Jose Nunes. The pair got married in 2007 having met in Bali when Gilbert was researching her travels ahead of the publication of Eat, Pray, Love. Together they run a business called “Two Buttons”, importing a wonderful selection goods from Asia and selling them on to the people of New Jersey.