The author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some large topics. Her next fascination is genius and how we ruin it. In this TEDTalk, Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius.
Elizabeth Gilbert faced a pre-midlife crisis by doing what we all secretly dream of — running away for a year. Her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia resulted in the mega-bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, about the process of finding herself by leaving home. The book was on The New York Times bestseller list for 187 weeks.
She's a longtime magazine writer — covering music and politics for Spin and GQ — as well as a novelist and short-story writer. Her books include the story collection Pilgrims; Stern Men, a novel about lobster fishermen in Maine; and The Last American Man, a biography of the woodsman Eustace Conway. The movie Coyote Ugly was based on her own memoir in GQ. A movie based on Eat, Pray, Love was released in 2010, starring Julia Roberts as Gilbert. Gilbert also owns and runs the import shop Two Buttons in Frenchtown, N.J.
About June Cohen
TED Media Executive Producer, June Cohen says she's passionate about media, technology, culture and their impact on each other. She began following TED in 1990, attending her first talk eight years later. She's only missed one year since and joined the staff in 2005. Her work focuses on extending TED in new directions, including launching TEDTalks in 2006, TED.com in 2007, and the Open Translation Project in 2009. As of mid-2011, TEDTalks have been watched more than 500 million times worldwide.
Cohen joined TED Radio Hour to discuss working with Gilbert while she crafted her TEDTalk.