The author of "Eat, Pray, Love," Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some big topics. Her fascinations: genius, creativity and how we get in our own way when it comes to both.

Why you should listen

Elizabeth Gilbert faced down a premidlife crisis by doing what we all secretly dream of -- running off for a year. Her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia resulted in the megabestselling and deeply beloved memoir Eat, Pray, Love, about her process of finding herself by leaving home.

She's a longtime magazine writer -- covering music and politics for Spin and GQ -- as well as a novelist and short-story writer. Her books include the story collection Pilgrims, the novel Stern Men (about lobster fishermen in Maine) and a biography of the woodsman Eustace Conway, called The Last American Man. Her work has been the basis for two movies: Coyote Ugly, based on her own experience working at the famously raunchy bar in New York City, and Eat, Pray, Love, with the part of Gilbert played by Julia Roberts.

In 2010, Gilbert published Committed, a memoir exploring her ambivalent feelings about the institution of marriage. She published Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear in 2016 and her most recent novel, City of Girls, in 2019.

Gilbert also owns and runs the import shop Two Buttons in Frenchtown, New Jersey.

What others say

“Gilbert is irreverent, hilarious, zestful, courageous, intelligent, and in masterful command of her sparkling prose.” — Booklist

Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talks

More news and ideas from Elizabeth Gilbert


Preview our new podcast: The TED Interview

September 26, 2018

TED is launching a new way for curious audiences to immerse themselves more deeply in some of the most compelling ideas on our platform: The TED Interview, a long-form TED original podcast series. Beginning October 16, weekly episodes of The TED Interview will feature head of TED Chris Anderson deep in conversation with TED speakers about the ideas they shared in their […]

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