Rediscover: Prozac Nation

Elizabeth Wurtzel, whose 1994 memoir Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America drew attention to clinical depression and popularized an unflinching style of confessional writing, died on Tuesday at age 52. Wurtzel grew up on Manhattan's Upper East Side and attended Harvard, where she wrote for the Harvard Crimson. She later moved to Greenwich Village and worked as a pop music critic for the New Yorker and New York Magazine. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2008. Wurtzel was also the author of Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women (1998) and More, Now, Again: A Memoir of Addiction (2002).

As an undergraduate, Wurtzel struggled with atypical depression, which was eventually treated with the antidepressant Prozac. In her afterword to the 1995 edition of Prozac Nation, Wurtzel wrote: "If Prozac Nation has any particular purpose, it would be to come out and say that clinical depression is a real problem, that it ruins lives, that it ends lives, that it very nearly ended my life; that it afflicts many, many people, many very bright and worthy and thoughtful and caring people, people who could probably save the world or at the very least do it some real good, people who are too mired in despair to even begin to unleash the lifespring of potential that they likely have down deep inside." It is available from Mariner Books ($16.99, 9780544960091). --Tobias Mutter
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