The movie Eat Pray Love is coming out next week. I didn’t love the book. The Pray section, set in India, was incredibly tedious (in fairness, that assessment says more about me than it does about the author or her writing).
In addition, I have a hard time reading Eat Pray Love as the transcendent journey promised on the jacket. Divorce and severe depression are no joke, and I’m glad Elizabeth Gilbert was able to find peace during her year-long adventure. But the fact that she received a sizable advance to take the trip and write about it lessens its legitimacy as a spiritual narrative.
My friend Superwoman, recently divorced, has carved out a West coast life that involves working for The Man three days a week, starting her own business, traveling around the world, and getting her yoga classes by working at the studio’s front desk. No book advance, no safety net. Just a stubborn determination to live life on her own terms.
People like Superwoman make Elizabeth Gilbert’s pre-paid trip seen inauthentic. Was the author wrong to take the money, travel, and write a book? Of course not. I’m just perplexed by the interpretation of Eat Pray Love as an inspirational tale of self-seeking instead of a travelogue.