‘Eat, Pray, Love’ author Elizabeth Gilbert pulls new Russia book after backlash: NPR

Elizabeth Gilbert delays publication Snow forest, a novel focusing on Russia, after receiving expressions of “anger, grief, disappointment and pain” from Ukrainian readers who objected to the publication of any work about Russia. Here, in this September 2010 photo, Gilbert arrives at the film’s European premiere. Eat, pray, love In Leicester Square, London.

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Elizabeth Gilbert delays publication Snow forest, a novel focusing on Russia, after receiving expressions of “anger, grief, disappointment and pain” from Ukrainian readers who objected to the publication of any work about Russia. Here, in this September 2010 photo, Gilbert arrives at the film’s European premiere. Eat, pray, love In Leicester Square, London.

Paul Jeffers/AP

Elizabeth Gilbert is a best-selling author Eat, pray, loveHe announced that his next book would be set in Russia, following “huge” backlash.

A Video notification Gilbert posted on Twitter on Monday about her upcoming novel, Snow forestWhose country will be removed from the release calendar following criticism from Ukrainians Still at war since the invasion of Russia in February 2022.

In the video, Gilbert said, “Ukrainian readers need to hear what they have to say after receiving an “enormous, massive amount of reactions and responses… expressing anger, sadness, disappointment and anguish over the story in Russia.” “Correcting a course,” said the best-selling author.

The novel was published in February 2024, exactly two years after Russia invaded Ukraine.

“I don’t want to do any harm to a group of people who have already suffered, and continue to suffer, who are grieving and extremely harmed. I’ve heard these messages, I’ve read these messages and I want to say that I respect them,” Gilbert said. “This is not the time for this book to come out.”

A representative for Gilbert declined NPR’s request for comment on the backlash. No new release date has been given.

Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild, a professional organization for published writers, said the group believes books should never be censored or banned, and that every author has the right to decide when and how to publish their work.

“Gilbert heard and sympathized with the pain of his readers in Ukraine, and we respect his decision that he did not want to cause further harm to his Ukrainian readers,” Rasenberger said in a statement to NPR.

“However, we will not support a publisher’s decision to pressure an author not to publish a book. Authors should never have to withdraw books, but should have the right to speak up or speak out when they want.” she added.

As of Monday afternoon, the novel had more than 500 one-star reviews Book-recommendations website GoodreadsA flood of reviews condemned the Russian setting of the book.

Snow forest According to Gilbert, “set in the middle of Siberia in the middle of the last century”. The novel follows a group of individuals who decide to remove themselves from society in order to oppose the Soviet government.

Gilbert explained further in the video, saying that in the meantime he would focus on other projects and return pre-orders for the novel.

The 53-year-old is a best-selling author and journalist Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Quest Across Italy, India, and Indonesia It sold over 10 million copies worldwide. The novel was later adapted into a film starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem.

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