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Prozac Nation (1994)

by Elizabeth Wurtzel

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3,674522,630 (3.36)29
Painful, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, Prozac Nation is Elizabeth Wurtzel's catharsis--a cry of rage at the chronic depression which has dominated most of her young life. "A powerful portrait of one girl's journey through the purgatory of depression".

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» See also 29 mentions

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Outwardly, young adult Elizabeth Wurtzel has all the advantages: she attends upscale private schools and later Harvard, she has devoted family on her mother's side, she is pretty, slender, and a talented writer. So why does she always feel like a big black cloud is chasing her? Wurtzel suffers from a years-long, badly-managed case of clinical depression, and the many therapists she seeks out attribute her problems to her parents' acrimonious divorce rather than her biochemical makeup. Finally she gets on the title medication and feels better, but how can she now adjust to living (relatively) depression-free? This all took place back in the late 1980s, when Prozac and other SSRIs were looked at with great suspicion; did these drugs make people "better than well"? Now, as Wurtzel writes in her epilogue and afterword, they're just another part of our cultural landscape.

Prozac Nation is a well-written book that nonetheless goes on too long for its own good. I'm glad I read it, but I also am glad that I'm done with it. ( )
  akblanchard | Oct 7, 2020 |
When a book takes me nearly a year to finish, it's definitely a sign that I'm having some issues with the narrative. One LibraryThing reviewer began a critique by declaring, "You need to take Prozac to read this book!" I can relate. I wish Wurtzel's Afterword had been the Preface/Foreword, because some of her reflections would have been helpful as I trudged through the book. For example, she notes that some readers have talked about how "Prozac Nation" could be a frustrating read. But she quickly notes that this how many depressives feel in their everyday lives. In her parting words, she describes her book as a "memoir with no particular thesis or point," adding that she wanted the book "to dare to be completely self-indulgent, unhesitant and forthright in its telling of what clinical depression feels like." These admissions and observations — shared at the very start — would have helped me to navigate this worthy but somewhat exhausting book. Having said that, I found many aspects of "Prozac Nation" fascinating and instructive. My late mom suffered from severe depression her entire life. Unfortunately, it went undiagnosed — or atleast untreated — until she was in her early 40s. Had I been Wurtzel's editor, I would have trimmed down the narrative a bit, eliminating some redundancies and unneccessary details. But as it turns out, this is one of the author's goals — to vividly illustrate some of the utterly frustrating aspects of this crippling disease. ( )
  brianinbuffalo | Aug 5, 2019 |
Reading this book, I kept thinking that her symptoms seemed to reflect bipolar disorder, perhaps complicated by BPD, rather than a depressive disorder. The chaos, the neediness, the need for others to prove their love, and, most telling, others' responses to her behavior spoke to me as BPD...which would allow explain other readers' irritation/revulsion. ( )
  carlahaunted | Jan 8, 2019 |
This is one of those books that when you read at the right time in your life the feeling is indescribable. ( )
  wellreadcatlady | Oct 4, 2018 |
I'd been wanting to read this book for quite some time, but couldn't make it through. It's the literary equivalent of masturbation. She has nothing insightful or meaningful to share, she just wanted to whine to the public. What a waste of time. ( )
  Sarahbel | Sep 1, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
The book became a cultural reference point and part of a new wave of confessional writing.
By the end of "Prozac Nation," one is less apt to remember Ms. Wurtzel's self-important whining than her forthrightness, her humor and her ability to write sparkling, luminescent prose.

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Wurtzelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Guip, AmyPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Painful, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, Prozac Nation is Elizabeth Wurtzel's catharsis--a cry of rage at the chronic depression which has dominated most of her young life. "A powerful portrait of one girl's journey through the purgatory of depression".

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Average: (3.36)
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