'Eat, Pray, Love' writer yanks Russia-set novel

Author Elizabeth Gilbert, whose multi-million-selling "Eat, Pray, Love" was made into a Hollywood smash starring Julia Roberts, said Monday she is shelving her new novel after an outcry because it was set in Russia.

The move illustrates the difficulties that publishers, celebrities, and sporting and artistic bodies have as they try to handle the fallout from Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Gilbert announced last week that "The Snow Forest" would be published early next year, but a blizzard of negative publicity forced a reversal.

"I have received an enormous, massive outpouring of reactions and responses from my Ukrainian readers expressing anger, sorrow, disappointment and pain about the fact that I would choose to release a book into the world right now - any book, no matter what the subject of it is - that is set in Russia," she said in an Instagram video.

"I'm making a course correction and I'm removing the book from its publication schedule.

"I do not want to add any harm to a group of people who have already experienced and who are all continuing to experience grievous and extreme harm."

The novel is set in 1930s Soviet Russia and follows a family trying to resist the authoritarian government.

Despite its distance from modern-day events, readers on the Goodreads website were nearly unanimous in lambasting the choice of subject matter.

"While Ukrainians are dying from russian terrorists, famous authors are writing books about them and romanticizing these bastards," wrote one of the hundreds of people who left a one-star review.

"Do you write about Russia, romanticize this country while it commits genocide and ecocide in Ukraine? A complete shame! I'm disappointed in you!" wrote another.


Continue reading on: