Not that she needs any more marketing, viral or otherwise, but I attended Elizabeth Gilbert's Literary Arts talk at the Schnitz the other night, and have to say I found her totally charming -- smart, funny, warm, down-to-earth and unaffected. I liked her much better than I liked her book.
I bought a ticket because I was curious about the E.P.L. phenomenon: A woman in her very early 30s writes a book about her spiritual quest; it sells a bazillion copies, spawns an adoring cult of (mostly female) readers, and remains #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year and counting. I'm still a bit squicked by the fact that so many people apparently regard one woman's experience as the key to getting their own lives in order. But I came away believing that Elizabeth is genuine, and a mensch, and I don't begrudge her her good fortune. I'm sure she'll be relieved to hear that.