Prozac Nation author Elizabeth Wurtzel dies aged 52

Author Elizabeth Wurtzel, known for her 1994 memoirs about living with depression, has died aged 52, it has been reported.

Her childhood friend, writer David Samuels, told the New York Times that the cause of death was metastatic breast cancer.

He said the disease resulted from the BRCA genetic mutation.

Wurtzel announced she had breast cancer in 2015, writing in Vice that it was “mostly a pain the ass”.

Image: Wurtzel holds up a locket with the word ‘Prozac’ on it in front of a window display of a hand holding pills in New York in 1991

She added: “But compared with being 26 and crazy and waiting for some guy to call, it’s not so bad. If I can handle 39 breakups in 21 days, I can get through cancer.”

The American writer, who was born in New York, published her best-selling memoir Prozac Nation when she was 26.

It revealed she suffered with depression from the ages of 10 to 12 and chronicled her eventual treatment with the medication Prozac when she was a college undergraduate.

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The paperback became a New York Times bestseller and a film adaptation of the book, starring Christina Ricci, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2001.

Fans and figures in the literary world have paid tribute to Wurtzel following the news of her death.

Journalist Erin Blakemore wrote on Twitter: “It’s impossible to convey the impact Elizabeth Wurtzel had in the ’90s. She was unapologetic, raw, honest. She stood for a very specific form of GenX femininity, confession, rage.

“We learned from her-and from how intensely she was mocked for writing about her own life.”

Author Sady Doyle said: “People spent so many years writing about Elizabeth Wurtzel as a Sad Example Of Something — female memoir-writers, women who got famous for being themselves, young women generally – and to see her gone so young is a harsh reminder of how cruel that was.”

Writer Amanda Mull described Wurtzel’s death as “incredibly sad”, adding: “Bitch and Prozac Nation were incredibly formative to me as a young writer. I remember reading about Elizabeth in a magazine and having my mom take me to the local bookstore to order them when I was like 14.”

Wurtzel married photo editor and aspiring novelist James Freed in 2015, but she announced they had separated in 2019.

Source : Sky News