In light of all the EPL hype, I came across this article pontificating the perils of the new priv-lit genre; ironically, it becomes a bit preachy.
My only critique of the article is that my understanding of the book was that it was just a memoir of a lady who didn’t like her life and wanted to change it. She happened to be white. She happened to already be a writer who got an advance for a book. She told her story. I didn’t realize it was (or is in any way inferred to be) woman’s new holy grail and that Ms. Gilbert was selling something.
But yes, I too was a bit bothered by just how many women not only resonated with Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey, but somehow claimed it as their own. (Are we all really that unhappy?) But obviously the author struck a nerve with her audience. (155 weeks on the NYT Best Seller list!) Maybe so many gravitated to the book because she let thousands of women escape/journey with her — to stunningly beautiful places– vicariously. And really, who doesn’t want to “take a year off” to self-indulge? But I never got the impression that she was telling me that “this is how you do it”. Rather I heard, “this is how I did it.” I (and thousands of others) will never be able to afford the experience/life she created for herself but I don’t resent her for having it. (In the same way that I don’t resent GOOP. It is what it is.)
I get that the Oprahfication of America’s woman is doing something funky to our self-perceptions and spirituality. And I think I get what the article is intending to communicate, but I think they’ve made a huge assumption in thinking that women who read/watch books/movies such as this are using them as a how-to rather than just accepting it for what it is — a personal memoir.
But all this other garbage idiot-marketers are selling, maybe that’s where they should have directed their vitriol.
Boy, I sure am opinionated this week!