Elizabeth Gilbert has shelved her upcoming novel “The Snow Forest” following the outpouring of criticism from Ukrainian fans due to the novel’s Russian setting, the author said Monday.
“Over the course of this weekend 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,” Gilbert said on Twitter.
Due to the criticism, Gilbert made a “course correction,” 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,” Gilbert said.
The author also noted that she has “other book projects” in the works. Moving forward, she will turn her attention to those.
“The Snow Forest” is set in the middle of Siberia during the 1900s and follows a group of people who remove themselves from society and the Soviet. Together, they try to defend nature against the looming threat of industrialization. The book was originally set to be released in February of 2024 through Riverhead Books, which is an imprint of Penguin Random House.
An American journalist and author, Gilbert is best known for her 2006 memoir “Eat, Pray, Love,” which sold over 12 million copies and was made into a film starring Julia Roberts. She’s also published two other memoirs — “Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage,” which is a sequel of sorts to “Eat, Pray, Love,” and the self-help book “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.” On the fiction side of the aisle, Gilbert wrote 2000’s “Stern Man,” 2013’s “The Signature of All Things” and 2019’s “City of Girls.”