What does it take to move through soul-shattering grief? Can your creativity expand and flourish not in spite of but because of your most painful experiences?

Elizabeth Gilbert’s answer is a resounding YES. She wrote her brilliant new novel, City of Girls, while caring for the love of her life, Rayya, who passed from pancreatic and liver cancer in early January 2018.

“What am I going to do now?” Liz asked herself. “How am I going to create safety and the feeling of being seen in a Rayya-less world? Interesting challenge.”

City of Girls is her response. It’s glittering, hot, funny, and drenched in pleasure — and not at all the story you’d expect to come out of someone who’d just lost the love of her life. “I want this book to go down like a tray of champagne cocktails,” she says.

You don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person. @GilbertLiz Click To Tweet

Set in the 1940’s New York theater scene, City of Girls tackles the antiquated idea of a ‘ruined woman.’ It sets forth a new narrative, celebrating the power of female desire and love. Like her other monster hits, Eat Pray Love, Big Magic, and The Signature of All Things — it’s a rollercoaster of truth and delight. I dare you to put it down.

In this moving conversation, Elizabeth inspires us to hold life more loosely, be lighter with our choices, and ultimately treat every setback as a creative challenge. You’ll also discover:

  • Why desire is just as important as consent when it comes to female sexuality.
  • An inside look into Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing process (spoiler: she doesn’t know the story ahead of time).
  • What four years of meticulous book research actually looks like.
  • Why the opposite of depression isn’t happiness.
  • And the surprising daily habit that helped her metabolize grief.

Elizabeth Gilbert is one of the most dazzling and luminous writers of our generation. She invites us to challenge the rules, hunt down adventure, and bear hug the highs and lows of life.

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

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Elizabeth Gilbert’s Moth talk (the one I referred to in this episode) can be found here.

Once you’ve had a chance to watch, Liz and I would love to hear from you.

  1. What’s the biggest insight you’re taking away?
  2. What’s something you could do today that would bring you enjoyment, elevation, or transcendence? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Share as much detail as you can. Hundreds of thousands of souls come here for insight and inspiration. Your story may be just what someone needs to see things from a fresh perspective.

Important: please share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. may be removed.

Thank you so much for watching, sharing, and encouraging this community with your voice. AND, if you’re looking for your next novel, get your hands on City of Girls now.

Our lives are ours to create.

As Liz so beautifully demonstrates, no one gets to write your story but you.

With SO much love ❤️,


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