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Author of best seller ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ to speak at IUPUI Sept. 28

Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert -- best known for her book Eat, Pray, Love -- will present her views on "Traveling the Road of Life" on Sept. 28 at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

Elizabeth Gilbert

Deborah Lopez

Elizabeth Gilbert

Print-Quality Photo

Gilbert's appearance is hosted by the Department of Tourism, Conventions and Event Management at IUPUI. It is part of the annual Efroymson Lectures on International Art, Culture and Heritage.

She will speak at 7 p.m. in Room 450 at the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Boulevard. After her remarks, Gilbert will sign copies of her book outside of Room 450. The event is free and open to the public.

Gilbert was born in Connecticut in 1969 and was raised on a small family Christmas tree farm. She is the sister of the young-adult novelist Catherine Murdock, author of Dairy Queen and The Off Season. She went to college in New York City, and spent her time during summer breaks traveling around the world, working odd jobs, writing short stories and essentially creating what she has referred to as her own MFA program. She broke the literary scene in 1993, when one of her short stories was pulled from the slush pile at Esquire magazine and published under the heading "The Debut of an American Writer."

Described as expansive, exploratory, playful, bright and armed with a comic's sense of timing, Gilbert became a household name with the 2006 publication of Eat, Pray, Love. It is the story of the year she spent traveling around the world in search of personal restoration after a difficult divorce. The book exploded in popularity with women across the planet. It has been published in more than 30 languages with more than 5.7 million copies sold.

In addition to writing books, Elizabeth has worked steadily as a journalist. Throughout much of the 1990s she was on staff at SPIN Magazine, where -- with humor and pathos -- she chronicled diverse individuals and subcultures, covering everything from rodeo's Buckle Bunnies to China's headlong construction of the Three Gorges Dam. In 1999, Elizabeth began working for GQ magazine, where her profiles of extraordinary men -- from singers Hank Williams III and Tom Waits to quadriplegic athlete Jim Maclaren -- earned her three National Magazine Award Nominations, as well as repeated appearances in the "Best American" magazine writing anthologies.

She has written for such publications as The New York Times Magazine, Real Simple, Allure, Travel and Leisure and O, the Oprah Magazine (where her memoir Eat, Pray, Love was excerpted in March, 2006). She has been a contributor to the Public Radio show "This American Life."

Much of her writing has been optioned by Hollywood. Her GQ memoir about her bartending years became the Disney movie Coyote Ugly.

Gilbert is also the author of a collection of short-stories entitled Pilgrims (1998), the novel Stern Men (2000) and the critically acclaimed The Last American Man (2002), a nonfiction account of the back-to-basics woodsman Eustace Conway.

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