How did you come to the decision to have your sister and, to a lesser extent, your mother serve as points of comparison for your own life? Gilbert said that in the aftermath of Ms. Part of me felt that Gilbert took comfort in the non-dual aspects of Eastern philisophies in a strange way.
Without quite knowing why, 21st-century woman finds this a powerful trinity to behold on the cover of a book.
The book was almost an escape from that grieving. Not her readers and, most important, not herself. In light of the experiences related in the book, do you now believe that seeking help when one needs it is a sign of courage and the first step on the road to healing? She seemed almost relieved that the non-duality of existence would ensure that one would not necessarily be punished by the universe for selfish deeds.
I understand that her intention was not for this book to be a travelogue but it begs the question, "Why was it necessary to go to Italy, India and Indonesia if the purpose was to not to gain something from them that could not be found elsewhere?
She never wondered how a spiritual person should grapple with the injustice of the world, nor did she seem to question the "rightness" of living in the midst of poverty in an artificial environment created to specifically cater to pampered Westerners.
Was it difficult for you to turn your talents to your own experience, revealing so much to readers about your internal life and personal journey? It should call you to your own attention. I felt that Gilbert projects herself so strongly onto every place and every person she encounters that I'm not sure what she really learnt along the way.
Penelope Green is a feature writer in the Style department.