Eat, pray, write best-selling slurp about finding love on an Indonesian beach, then divorce
From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:
Gilbert and visa-seeking Brazilian hub
Guess which smash 2006 best-seller with a near-100 percent female readership this quote comes from:
“’I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you….There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.’”
Yup, you guessed it. And now Elizabeth Gilbert is splitting from the Brazilian Romeo who whispered the above sweet nothing into her ear that found its way into Eat, Pray, Love, the memoir that launched 9 million swoons from 9 million women who devoured it on beaches and in book groups all over the world.
The plot: Sensitive 32-year-old Elizabeth dumps her boring husband and takes a year off traveling ’round the world to find herself: eat (pasta by the pound in Italy), pray (at one of those Western “spirituality”-catering ashrams in India), and love (the Brazilian trinket-seller she meets on a beach in Indonesia, whom she calls “Felipe.”) Actually, all of this was fnanced by a generous book advance, but finaind yourself is finding yourself.
Eat, Pray ultimately became a 2010 hit movie, also geared to the Oprah crowd. True, Elizabeth Gilbert doesn’t exactly look like Julia Roberts, who played her, and “Felipe” (his real name is Jose Nunes, short, balding, and 16 years older than Gilbert, doesn’t exactly look like Javier Bardem, the hunky Latin hunk who played him.
Gilbert and Nunes ultmately got married. The reason turned out to be a little more prosaic than “There is nothing you can ever do to lose my love”: The Indonesian beaches seemed to have lost their appeal for Nunes, and he needed a green card in order to to live with Gilbert in a country that’s apparently even more spiritually fulfilling than exotic Indonesia: the good old USA. As this blurb for Gilbert’s 2010 follow-up book, Committed, explains:
“But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government, which—after unexpectedly detaining Felipe at an American border crossing—gave the couple a choice: they could either get married, or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again.”Oops! Fortunately Gilbert had the sense to get a pre-nup shielding much of her Eat, Pray millions from the man who swore to protect her until she died.