Lit Chat and Writer's Lab with Elizabeth Gilbert

Monday, September 12, 2022
  • Lit Chat with Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Writer's Lab with Elizabeth Gilbert

Bestselling author and renowned writing instructor Elizabeth Gilbert joins us in September for two days of bookish excitement! Readers can check out our Lit Chat Interview with her on Friday evening, and writers can attend a 3-hour Writer’s Lab workshop on Saturday morning. We’d love to see you at both!

#Join the Lit Chat

Lit Chat Interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, Friday, September 23, from 6:30-7:45 p.m. This event will take place live at the Main Library’s Hicks Auditorium and will be livestreamed online via Zoom. Gilbert will not be signing books at the event but in-person attendees will receive a signed bookplate. If you need an Elizabeth Gilbert book to put a bookplate in, you can purchase one at the event or in advance from San Marco Books and More or your favorite bookseller. Click here to register. 

#Join the Writer's Lab

Writer’s Lab: Big Magic Creativity and Courage, Saturday, September 24, from 10am-1pm. This event will take place in-person in the Main Library Conference Center and will not be livestreamed or recorded. Leave your technology behind and bring only a notebook and writing utensil. Click here to register.

In her critically acclaimed novels and immensely popular nonfiction, Elizabeth Gilbert expands our understanding of creativity, spirituality, and love. Whatever her subject, whether in fiction or nonfiction, Gilbert writes with “a mix of intelligence, wit, and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible” (The New York Times Book Review). Her memoir, Eat Pray Love, exploded onto the scene in 2006. A #1 New York Times bestseller, Eat Pray Love famously chronicled the year Gilbert spent traveling the world after a shattering divorce. Translated into more than 30 languages, the book has sold over thirteen million copies, and was adapted into a 2010 film starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem.  In the years since, people around the world have looked to Gilbert for guidance in leading brave, authentic, and creative lives. With over 20 million views, her TED Talk on creativity is one of the top 25 most popular of all time. In her nonfiction treatise, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, another instant #1 New York Times bestseller that has sold over one million copies, Gilbert unpacks her own generative process and shares her wise, witty insights into the mysteries of curiosity and inspiration. Her newest bestseller is the novel, City of Girls, a “fiercely feminist” (Esquire) story of a young woman coming into her own in the theater world of 1940s New York. City of Girls debuted at #2 on The New York Times bestseller list, has sold nearly a million copies, and is currently in development at Warner Brothers as a major motion picture. 

Interviewer Nikesha Elise Williams is a two-time Emmy award winning producer, an award-winning author, and producer and host of the Black & Published podcast. Her latest novel, Beyond Bourbon Street, was awarded Best Fiction by the Black Caucus of African-American Librarians in the 2021 Self-Published eBook Literary Awards. It also received the 2020 Outstanding Book Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. Nikesha's forthcoming book, Mardi Gras Indians, will be published by LSU Press on October 5. A Chicago native, Nikesha is an Editor at Narrative Initiative and a columnist with JAX Today. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, ESSENCE, and VOX. She lives in Florida with her family and is working on her next novel.

#Books We Recommend:

  • Elizabeth Gilbert has written books ranging from nonfiction to memoir to novels. Check them all out from the library!
  • Check out Nikesha’s books from the library, many of which are included in Biblioboard, a platform for self-published authors to share their work with libraries.

#Elizabeth Recommends:

One thing that I'm really enjoying these days are guided breath meditations as means of reducing stress and also entering into beautiful states of altered consciousness without the use of mind-altering substances. I first got interested in this after reading James Nestor's amazing book Breath, which opened my mind (and my lung lobes, and my sinuses) to the power of conscious breathing. I went looking for good teachers online. Wim Hoff is of course the king in this area, and the most famous, but I wanted to find someone a little quieter and more subtle. On the meditation app Insight Timer (which I also love!) I found a guy named Taylor Somerville, out of Memphis, Tennessee, who creates simple, effective and wonderful breath meditations. Here's a link to one, but he has many on offer.  I started sharing this with some friends, and we get together a few times a week now to do breathwork in the same space. It's kind of like going out for coffee with your friends, except not at ALL like going out for coffee—because at the end of it, you feel deeply relaxed and peaceful, and incredibly connected for having gone on the journey together. One of the people I do this with on a regular basis is my friend the author Suleika Jaouad, who discovered that the breathwork was really helpful for her as she has been grappling with a rough cancer diagnosis.

Which brings me to my next recommendation: Suleika's incredible bestselling memoir, Between Two Kingdoms, about her journey through leukemia. For those looking for creative inspiration, the community that she created during Covid to help keep each other making art is amazing, and can be found here.

Lastly, Karaoke is my religion and my mental health medicine. Here's a great mic that you can use with friends or by yourself (yes, I do karaoke by myself). 

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