ALA 2010 Sunrise Speaker Series kicks off with best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert

Contact: Karee Williams

ALA Conference Services



For Immediate Release

September 29, 2009

CHICAGO— Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the New York Times bestseller “Eat, Pray, Love” will kick off the ALA’s 2010 Sunrise Speaker Series this winter.

This series is part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting held from Jan.15-19, 2010 in Boston. It is held Saturday and Sunday morning from 8 to 9 a.m. and Monday morning from 9 to 10 a.m.

Born in Connecticut, Gilbert attended college in New York City, spending her post-graduate years traveling around the country and the world working odd jobs, writing short stories and essentially creating what she has referred to as her own MFA program.

She broke onto 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."

Her first book, a collection of short stories called “Pilgrims,” was a New York Times Notable Book, received the Pushcart Prize and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her second book, “Stern Men,” a novel about lobster-fishing territory wars off the coast of Maine, was also a New York Times Notable Book. ‘The Last American Man,” her biography of Eustace Conway, an eclectic modern day woodsman, was a finalist in 2002 for both The National Book Award and The National Book Critic's Circle Award.

Gilbert’s most recent book, the New York Times best seller, “Eat, Pray, Love,” is about the year she spent traveling the world alone after a difficult divorce. It was named one of the 100 most notable books of 2006. In 2008, Elizabeth Gilbert was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine.

Much of her writing has been optioned by Hollywood. Her memoir about her bartending years became the Disney movie, "Coyote Ugly." Her new book, “Committed: a Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage,” will be published January 2010.

For more information on the ALA Midwinter Meeting and special programs and events, visit