There have been a few books in recent years that have evoked such strong emotions that people pretty much love them or they hate them. One is Twilight, of course, and another is the memoir Eat, Pray, Love. Even if you have never read Eat, Pray, Love, you probably know the plot already: After a divorce, journalist Elizabeth Gilbert takes a year of her life off to travel, spending three months each in Italy, India and Bali. Gilbert eats good food, quiets the anxiety within her, and falls in love. It’s travel porn for those of us chained to our laptops in perpetuity, but in an utterly unique way, it’s freedom porn, too. Who amongst us hasn’t wanted to do what Gilbert did: secure a book advance, leave the ex-husband/boyfriend behind, and go to three of the most beautiful places in the world in an attempt to lift our depression?
But Eat, Pray, Love the book (and soon, “Eat, Pray, Love” the movie, starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem) has turned out to be a lightening rod of controversy in the most disappointing of ways. The negative reactions to “Eat, Pray, Love” show just how resentful, bitter, contradictory, and quite frankly, hate-filled we are towards a woman who does something for herself. Keep reading »