NEW YORK • It was the romance that provided the happiest of endings to an iconic memoir that became an international bestseller and spawned a Hollywood movie starring Julia Roberts.
But Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, 46, has announced that she was parting from her Brazilian-born husband, Mr Jose Nunes, with whom she fell in love at the end of a journey of self-discovery more than a decade ago.
"I am separating from the man whom many of you know as 'Felipe' - the man whom I fell in love with at the end of the Eat, Pray, Love journey," she wrote on her Facebook page on Friday. "He has been my dear companion for over 12 years, and they have been wonderful years. Our split is very amicable. Our reasons are very personal."
She also asked for privacy, saying she would be "a bit absent from social media during this sensitive moment".
The couple married in 2007 and lived in Frenchtown, New Jersey, about 96km west of New York where they ran a store.
Eat, Pray, Love tells how Gilbert spent four months in Italy savouring food, four months exploring spirituality in India and then travelled to Bali, where she fell in love, following a messy divorce.
Published in 2006, it has been translated into over 30 languages and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
The tale resonated with fans, mostly women, who either identified with being in an unhappy relationship or had managed to artfully escape one.
It became a cultural phenomenon, though not without criticism, with some noting that not every woman who wished to escape would have the privilege to live as sumptuously as Gilbert did on her sojourn.
The book, however, drew praise from Oprah Winfrey and was made into a 2010 film starring Roberts and Javier Bardem.
In 2010, Gilbert published a follow-up memoir called Committed which explored her ambivalent attitudes about marriage and which also became a New York Times bestseller.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NEW YORK TIMES