Elizabeth Gilbert to Speak at Homecoming

September 23, 2015

Celebrated author Elizabeth Gilbert will visit the University of Redlands during Homecoming and Parents’ Weekend 2015 to discuss her new book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and inspire students to have the courage to do daring things.

Gilbert, whose book Eat, Pray, Love was a worldwide bestseller and turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts, said she enjoys having the opportunity to speak with and meet college students.

“It’s a nice moment to catch people in their lives,” she said. “They’re open to ideas and planning things. Sometimes, you can sneak a little bit of information or suggestions or hints, and it’s a really cool thing. Also, because they’re in classes being encouraged to question and challenge, the Q&A session is always exceptionally robust. They’re used to it, they’re intellectual athletes, always thinking. It’s really fun.”

In her new release, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Gilbert shares her wisdom and unique perspective on everything from the writing process to coming up with ideas, acting as a coach to inspire readers.

“I’ll be talking about creativity and fear, about the connection between them, and strategies to come up with in their own life,” she said. “Anything you fight ends up fighting back harder. It’s less about fighting fear and more about working with it and around it. How you manage determines how much interesting stuff you do in your life.”

Denise Davis, director of leadership and involvement, said the University initially tried to bring Gilbert to campus last year, but she was on tour doing speaking engagements with Oprah Winfrey and was unavailable.

“We had to wait until now, but it’s actually really perfect timing, as her new book is released just before she arrives in Redlands,” she said. “She’ll be speaking on the creative process, a topic she’s discussed in two brilliant TED talks that I’ve shown to several of the classes I’ve taught. The students have been deeply inspired by her and I’m thrilled we are bringing a speaker who will undoubtedly engage and ignite the audience of students, faculty, staff, and community members on Oct. 24.”