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‘Prozac Nation’ Author Elizabeth Wurtzel Dead at 52

‘Prozac Nation’ Author Elizabeth Wurtzel Dead at 52
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Elizabeth in 2000

Elizabeth Wurtzel, best known for her 1994 memoir “Prozac Nation,” has died. She was 52.

Her husband Jim Freed told CNN that Elizabeth passed away following a battle with metastatic breast cancer that had spread to her brain. She died Tuesday in a Manhattan hospital.

Wurtzel went public with her cancer diagnosis in 2015 and underwent a double mastectomy. In 2018 she wrote an essay for The Guardian, revealing the moment she confronted “my fear of death.”

“It was a hot afternoon in early summer and I was alone on my bed. It must have been a Tuesday, because it was not distinct. I considered that modern medicine might fail me. It might. It could be that my stay here is brief. As I gave myself over to dread, all of me shook. My apartment faces north and is always dark, but my vision was whited out. I curled up.”

She went on, “I was scared exactly the way you would think. It was so unsurprising. Fear is so boring. I’d seen this scene in a movie. I let myself feel death by cancer for I don’t know how long. Not long. I did not like it.”

Elizabeth continued, “And that was all. I was done. I have to live with not knowing what will happen. Which makes me just like everybody else.

Later she added, “Do you know what I’m scared of? Nothing. Cancer just suits me.”

Wurtzel was in her twenties when she published, “Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America,” an unapologetic Gen X memoir about her struggles with depression and drugs.

She went on to release a series of essays called “Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women” and another book called “More, Now, Again: A Memoir of Addiction.”

Elizabeth graduated with a BA in comparative literature from Harvard and received a JD from Yale Law School, where she studied alongside Ronan Farrow.

Farrow remembered her on Twitter, writing, “I met Lizzie in law school. She started mid-career as I was starting young. We were both misfits and she was kind and generous and filled spaces that might have otherwise been lonely with her warmth and humor and idiosyncratic voice. She gave a lot to a lot of us. I miss her.”

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