Tsawwassen writer's essay featured in best-seller tribute

A local writer's connection to a famous book has earned her a spot in a new anthology that's dedicated to celebrating those who found inspiration in the story.

An essay by Tsawwassen's Eran Sudds is one of four dozen chosen to be a part of best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert's new anthology, Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It: Life Journeys Inspired by the Bestselling Memoir.

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Gilbert's memoir, Eat Pray Love, debuted a decade ago and became a worldwide phenomenon. It spent 187 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list and was made into a feature film in 2010. It details her trip around the world following her divorce and what she discovered during her travels to Italy (Eat), India (Pray) and Indonesia (Love).

Sudds has been a fan of the book from the beginning and estimates she has read it at least once a year since its release.

"She's one of my most favourite people in the whole world," she said.

Last year, Sudds saw Gilbert's call for fans of the book to share short essays about the role her story has played in their lives.

She jumped at the opportunity.

"There are a few instances in my life where Eat, Pray, Love made me do it," Sudds said, adding the book played a part in two particularly profound times in her life.

She said reading Gilbert's story inspired her on her own journey of self-discovery. Finding herself unhappy at work, Sudds quit and traveled to Bordeaux, France for a month.

While there she decided she really wanted to launch a photography business when she returned, which she did.

She found inspiration of a different kind three years ago after the birth of her son.

As a new mom, Sudds was dealing with postpartum depression and turned to the book during a particularly dark time.

"On the very first page, Elizabeth writes, 'Tell the truth, tell the truth...' I read those words again, during a very dark hour. And I realized

then that I had to tell the truth too. And the truth was I was dealing with postpartum depression and I needed help."

Sudds reached out for help and guidance through the Pacific Post Partum Support Society. Two years later, she decided to give back to the society and in organizing a fundraiser stumbled into a new venture - The Good Mother Project.

The project now includes a blog with contributing writers from all over the world covering a variety of topics - from birth and breastfeeding to feelings of inadequacy, depression, anxiety and grief.

Sudds, who is one of only two Canadian writers appearing in the book, wrote about how it helped her take the steps she knew she needed to get better.

She submitted her piece last summer and in October received an email letting her know her essay had been chosen from nearly 2,000 entries. "I almost died," she said. "It's going to be really exciting to me to see it in a book."

Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It is set to hit bookstores March 29.

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