Elizabeth Gilbert became famous when using her self-expression as a form of therapy. The Eat, Pray, Love author rose to fame after her book and movie detailing her breakup and self discovery.

But the next chapter of her life is more bittersweet. She is now grieving after recently losing her partner to cancer, but she said she’s still seeking joy.

Gilbert was recently interviewed by PEOPLE, and talked about her upcoming novel, City of Girls, which she describes as one of “funniest” works yet — one that it gives “redemption for female desire.”

“I can tell you absolutely it’s the lightest, funniest thing I’ve written out of the darkest grief,” the 49-year-old author says of the book, which will release in June 2019.


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Gilbert worked on the book as her partner was dying from cancer, pausing to become a full-time caretaker, and then took up writing again after her tragic loss.

“I went to the house that we lived in and I was like, ‘Okay, let’s do this together now,’ ” she says of the writing process. “It was just this sense of, ‘I’m so sorry that you weren’t here in person to do this, but I’m going to make this just as joyful and fun and sexy as you would have wanted it to be.’”

RELATED: 25 Eat, Pray, Love Quotes from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Journey to Self-Discovery

“This book is different from others that I’ve written in that it came from a place of me wanting a tonic for my own life to make me happy,” she says. “And I offer it that way, as a tonic. I told my editor I want this book to go down like a gin fizz.”

When you are going through a tragedy or even just experiencing a stressful time, it’s sometimes unexpected places that give us relief. If creative expression is again an outlet for her, it’s a great one!