Biography & Autobiography. Self-Improvement. Nonfiction. HTML:Elizabeth Wurtzel's New York Times best-selling memoir, with a new afterword "Sparkling, luminescent prose . . . A powerful portrait of one girl's journey through the purgatory of depression and back." â??New York Times "A book that became a cultural touchstone." â??New Yorker Elizabeth Wurtzel writes with her finger on the faint pulse of an overdiagnosed generation whose ruling icons are Kurt Cobain, Xanax, and pierced tongues. Her famous memoir of her bouts with depression and skirmishes with drugs, Prozac Nation is a witty and sharp account of the psychopharmacology of an era for readers of Girl, Interrupted and Sylvia Plath's The Bel
Elizabeth Wurtzel is clearly a very smart woman and a talented writer. That said, the most difficult part of this book to stomach is not the gut-wrenching descriptions of major depression, but rather, Wurtzel's refusal to recognize the significant socio-economic advantages she has had. Most significant of these are her Harvard education and her plum writing internships. The issue is not that she "should have been happy because she had so much," rather, its the fact that Wurtzel paints herself as a disadvantaged young woman, which she simply does not appear to be. Presenting herself as something of a child of deprivation simply doesn't work, and the book would have been stronger had it not made such suggestions. Much more interesting is how the culture of high expectations shaped her depression.
I'm relieved I don't suffer from atypical
I'm not sure that anyone who has never suffered from depression, or who has been close to anyone who has suffered from depression will enjoy this, but it is an excellent insight into the world of depression and mental illness.