To distract you from checking blogs for election news (or trying desperately to ignore the pundits and speculation), I want to direct your attention to a fascinating interview with Elizabeth Gilbert—author of Eat, Pray, Love—over at The Rumpus.

Read all about how Gilbert now views her early short stories; whether writing comes easy to her; how she feels about people who dismiss the "chick lit" book that made her famous—and much more. It is a long and revealing conversation with Rachel Khong, the managing editor at Lucky Peach.

Gilbert's many fans may be most interested in the discussion of her new book—a novel! The first draft is complete, and it's called The Signature of All Things. On her own website, Gilbert describes it as "the story of a 19th century female botanical explorer."

From the interview on The Rumpus, here's Gilbert on the story:

It’s about science, it’s about botany, it’s about searching for the mechanism behind patterns of nature, it’s about all those great 19th Century, mid-century Victorian scientists with their incredible discipline and focus. It’s about the beginnings of the evolutionary debate, and the struggles between understanding nature and understanding divinity. It’s a love story.

No word on when the novel will be released, but you know we'll keep you posted!

Also in BookPage: We interviewed Gilbert about her most recent book, the memoir Committed—read that conversation here, or visit her author page on

What author do you hope will spill the beans about a new book? After recently pulling out my old copy of The Little Friend, I've been dying for an update from Donna Tartt. (The only news we got this year was disappointing: Her third novel will not be published in 2012, alas.)

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