Eat, Pray, Love’s Elizabeth Gilbert talks to Intelligence Squared

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love seems, to me, to be one of those Marmite-like dividers of women. Whilst the Sunday Times has declared the memoir to be some sort of feminine gospel, saying ‘Eat, Pray, Love has been passed from woman to woman like the secret of life’, there are still those who are reluctant to fall for its charms. Bitch magazine, for example, accused the book of being ‘priv-lit‘  - saying that Gilbert’s path to enlightenment is greatly smoothed by her wealth – which is fine for her (and her equally privileged readers) but rather annoying for anyone else who can’t afford to traverse the globe to find themselves.

And then there are those who, like me, seem to be almost allergic to the self-help genre. When a considerate friend kindly offered up a quote from the book, in a bid to help me through a break up, my cynical soul simply refused to take it in – I refused to become one of those simpering women who find quotes that ‘resonate’. An ‘Eat, Pray, Lover‘, if you will.

Still, there’s obviously something about Eat, Pray, Love that attracts readers time and time again; The book has sold over 7 million copies and is about to be unleashed on to our UK screens as a major motion picture (starring saccharine sweetheart Julia Roberts, natch) on September the 24th.

It is for this reason that Gilbert finds herself on a new journey that will bring her slap bang into the spotlight for an event hosted by Intelligence Squared (IQ2) on September the 15th. Speaking with host Paul Holdengräber, Gilbert is sure to pass on plenty of pearls of wisdom from her travels… but I am also expecting a little light grilling too. Is ’spiritual journey’ travelling a new form of colonialism? Does self-help culture perpetuate selfishness? And where can us poorer gals go to eat, pray and love?

In readiness for the talk next month, I have finally bought a copy of the book (online, to avoid blushes at the book shop!) and I can actually admit that I’m glad to have the excuse to read it. Perhaps I am being overly negative. Perhaps a little Eating, Praying and Loving will be good for me… I’ll be sure to let you know in my review of the IQ2 event!

Elizabeth Gilbert speaks at Cadogan Hall, London, on Wednesday September 15th. The event will begin at 7.00pm and finish at 8.30pm. Tickets are from £20 and all details can be found here.

Ooh, and before you see the film, take a look at these great reviews over at Bust and The Salon!

By: Sarah Barnes, 27.08.2010 | Comments (5)
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Out Of Print and On Your Chest

They say ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ but if you’re up for allowing others to judge you by sporting a book cover across your chest, then these tees, from Out Of Print clothing, are just what you’ve been looking for!

There’s just something about old book covers that, upon seeing them, transforms me into an old grouch – wailing “They just don’t make ‘em like they used to in the good ol’ days!” But this iconic collection is testament to this truth; No ‘Richard and Judy Book Club‘ stickers here! Just gorgeous hand-rendered type, blocky prints, and bold, Bauhaus sensibilities.

So, the vintage designs are striking and the books are complete classics…. but, if you needed any more persuading to wear your literary leanings with pride, then how about the fact that Out of Print are working in partnership with Books For Africa? For every tee that they sell, one book is donated to a community in need. Good books, good design, good cause… it all adds up to ensuring that you’ll be judged positively when you wear one of these tees!

Shop here, or donate to Books For Africa here. All images from Out of Print.

By: Sarah Barnes, 25.08.2010 | Comments (0)
Tagged: , , , , , ,

Today, I Am An Emotional Creature

Today sees the release of (Vagina Monologues writer and V-Day founder) Eve Ensler’s new book I Am An Emotional Creature; the secret life of girls around the world. I absolutely love the powerful work that Ensler does, whether it’s her feminist writings and performances or her activism and charity work, so I’m excitedly anticipating this new collection of monologues that ‘aims to inspire girls to take agency over their minds, bodies, hearts and curiosities’.

Whilst I eagerly await my pre-ordered copy to fall through the letterbox, I’ll leave you with this video of Ensler talking at TED about how we all need to embrace our ‘inner girl’. She finishes the lecture by reciting the monologue that gave the book its name…

Read Bust magazine’s review of the book here.

By: Sarah Barnes, 09.02.2010 | Comments (0)
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,