Acclaimed author Elizabeth Gilbert has made the decision to withdraw her highly anticipated novel set in Russia from publication, citing a significant response from Ukrainians expressing their concerns about the book’s setting. The move comes as Gilbert acknowledges the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and aims to avoid causing any further harm or distress to those affected.
In an Instagram video, Gilbert stated, “I have taken a moment to reflect, and I have decided to remove the book from its publication schedule. The timing simply does not feel right.” “The Snow Forest” is set in Siberia during the 20th century and follows a group of individuals who resist the Soviet government and fight to protect nature from industrialization.
Gilbert acknowledged the emotions expressed by her Ukrainian readers, which included anger, sorrow, disappointment, and pain over the book’s proposed release due to its Russian backdrop. She emphasized, “I have listened to these messages, read them, and I deeply respect them.”
Gilbert explained that her decision was driven by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which has lasted for over a year, resulting in the displacement of millions of Ukrainians and leading to business ties being severed with Russia by major corporations. She stated, “I do not wish to contribute any further harm to a group of people who have already suffered and continue to endure tremendous harm.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, a highly successful author and journalist, gained widespread acclaim for her bestselling novel, “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia,” which has sold over 10 million copies globally. The book’s popularity led to its adaptation into a feature film featuring renowned actors Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem.