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Pilgrims
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Promotional Information

Eat, Pray, Love has sold over 40,000 copies in the UK (BookScan), over five million copies in the US and has been on the New York Times bestseller list for a year. Film rights have been sold, and Julia Roberts will play the lead. Rights for Eat, Pray, Love have been sold in 36 countries.For fans of Cowboys are my weakness by Pam HoustonPilgrims was a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway Award and a New York Times Notable Book.

About the Author

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of Stern Men (a New York Times Notable Book) and a book of non fiction, The Last American Man (nominated for the National Book Award and a New York Times Notable Book for 2002). She is a writer-at-large for American GQ where she has received two National Magazine Award nominations for feature writing. Her most recent book, Eat, Pray, Love is an international bestseller. Elizabeth Gilbert lives in New Jersey.

Reviews

Like Pam Houston's popular collection Cowboys Are My Weakness, Gilbert's first book of stories take place in the stark surroundings of the contemporary West. Whether Gilbert's characters find themselves in Missoula or New York, however, we see them struggle toward lives that always seem just beyond their grasp. In the title story, an East Coast girl challenges a Wyoming cowhand to run off with her, knowing they won't, knowing that the mountains that call them also keep them trapped. In "Tall Folks," an East Village bar owner sees the end of her business arrive with the opening of a strip joint across First Avenue. Looking back at the bar owner's habit of hiring women bartenders to attract customers, Gilbert writes: "She had done very well this way, brokering these particular and necessary loves." An eye for convincing detail and a comic's ear (" `Every good joke begins, "A man walks into a bar' ") mark each of these 12 stories. They waver only in the endings: too many trail off prematurely, before they can take on appreciable depth. The most obvious exception is "The Finest Wife," about an elderly schoolbus-driver who, one morning, finds all her past lovers waiting in place of the kindergartners she usually picks up. Told with an air of easy magic, this charming tale promises full-length, warm-blooded, compelling work to come. Author tour. (Sept.) FYI: Gilbert won the 1996 Paris Review New Discovery Prize.

'Gilbert takes us on a grit-strewn ride into the heart of Country and Western territory: good old boys, cowgirls, dingy bars, the backwaters and empty plains of America' Sunday Times 'The distinctive cant of Gilbert's stories recalls the off-kilter worlds of T. Craghessan Boyle, and she embraces the bizarre and fabulous with similar enthusiasm ... But blunt summaries capture none of Gilbert's subtlety. Whether trashing those on high or celebrating those below, she moves stealthily, avoiding the temptation to grandstand, moralize or, especially, patronize' New York Times Book Review 'The heroes of Pilgrims, Elizabeth Gilbert's gimmickless story collection, are everyday seekers...This first-time writer has all the hallmarks of a great writer: sympathy, wit, and an amazing ear for dialogue' Harper's Bazaar 'A superior collection of stories about women who are as tough as they look, though perhaps not quite as tough as they think they are' Glamour

Gilbert's first collection of short stories is remarkable for its breadth, range of setting, and subject matter. Each world her characters inhabit, whether ranchlands in the West or the Bronx Terminal Vegetable Market, is authentic and fully realized. Her stories do not finish with clever twists or pat endings; we simply spend time with her characters and believe that they go on living after the story is finished. Without editorializing, Gilbert lets us discover the characters; when we read of "The Many Things That Denny Brown Did Not Know (Age Fifteen)," we also learn the important things he did know. And though Rose led a life of unrepentant promiscuity, she was, after all, "The Finest Wife." An outstanding debut; highly recommended.‘Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Idaho Lib., Moscow

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