Reading Greg Zimmerman's excellent blog http://www.thenewdorkreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/ left me speechless this morning. He reveals, from another source, that Elizabeth Gilbert already had a book deal in place before she set out to "find herself" in her hugely popular memoir Eat, Pray, Love. I didn't care for the book, except for the foodie portion set in Italy. I felt it would certainly be easily possible to "find oneself" in a place where money is no object, beautiful scenery exists, and the (paid) help foresees your every possible need (not to mention the Argentinian hunk who pursues her). Much of it felt contrived. Yet, finding out that she already had a financial motive and needed a story to sell changes everything.
Cynicism. Don't knock it!