The author of the bestseller “Prozac Nation,” which became a manifesto of sorts for a generation of anxious, depressed young people, has died. The AP reports that Elizabeth Wurtzel died Tuesday in a Manhattan hospital following a long battle with cancer. She was 52.
“’Prozac Nation’ was published in 1994 when Wurtzel was in her mid-20s and set off a debate that lasted for much of her life,” the AP reports. “Critics praised her for her candor and accused her of self-pity and self-indulgence, vices she fully acknowledged. Wurtzel wrote of growing up in a home torn by divorce, of cutting herself when she was in her early teens, and of spending her adolescence in a storm of tears, drugs, bad love affairs and family fights.”
The report notes that the book made Wurtzel a celebrity, a symbol and, for some, a punchline.
“Newsweek called her ‘the famously depressed Elizabeth Wurtzel.’ She was widely ridiculed after a 2002 interview with the The Toronto Globe and Mail in which she spoke dismissively of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from the year before,” the AP reports.
Wurtzel is quoted saying in that 2002 interview: ″I just felt, like, everyone was overreacting. People were going on about it. That part really annoyed me.”
She later said those remarks were misrepresented.
“But many readers embraced her story and would credit her with helping them face their own troubles,” the AP adds “News of her death Tuesday was met with expressions of grief and gratitude.”
Writer Anne Theriault is quoted saying in a tweet: “It’s hard for me to even articulate how important Prozac Nation was to me at a certain point in my life.”
Here’s a clip of Wurtzel talking about Big Law’s gender problem in 2015, posted by Bloomberg Law …