I have several friends who greatly enjoyed the book Eat, Pray, Love. I haven't read it myself, because I have a problem with the basic premise: Ms. Gilbert financed her year-long trip through Italy, India and Indonesia with the advance her publisher paid for the book that became Eat, Pray, Love. That is, she went into her journey of self-discovery with the full intent of writing a memoir, and therefore had to experience revelations and romance and so on in order to make a compelling narrative. It's much less a journey of spiritual growth when there's commercial gain at the end, no? That's how I see it, anyway.
But I wasn't sure where I'd heard Eat, Pray, Love was paid for by a publisher's advance. Wouldn't it be horrible if I was condemning a book on nothing but a scurrilous Internet rumor? So I went looking for an reputable news source that mentions that fact.* Whilst I was poking about, I wandered over to the Wikipedia page, I saw something that made me laugh:
But this is not what I came to Wikipedia for, so I kept looking to references to Gilbert's advance from the publisher. Wikipedia did mention it:
Unfortunately, the source link provided on Wiki didn't actually mention the advance. The best I've been able to do, so far, is find a blog entry that references a 2007 interview Gilbert did with NPR - and yes, she confirms that the trip was financed by a book advance.
* I did hear that Gilbert mentions the fact herself within the book. Can any of you who have read the book confirm or deny this?