Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation, at the 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival (September 12, 2010)
|Born||Elizabeth Lee Wurtzel
July 31, 1967
New York City, U.S.
|Occupation||Author, journalist, lawyer|
Yale Law School
|Notable work(s)||Prozac Nation|
Elizabeth Lee Wurtzel (born July 31, 1967) is an American writer and journalist, known for publishing her memoir, the best-selling Prozac Nation, at the age of 26, in the memoir genre in general. She holds a BA from Harvard College and a JD from Yale Law School.
Wurtzel was brought up in New York City in a Jewish family. Her parents divorced when she was young. As described in her memoir Prozac Nation, Wurtzel's depression began at the ages of 10 to 12. She attended the Ramaz School in New York City. While an undergraduate at Harvard College, she wrote for The Harvard Crimson and The Dallas Morning News. She was fired from The Dallas Morning News in 1988 after being accused of plagiarism. Wurtzel also received the 1986 Rolling Stone College Journalism Award. Wurtzel subsequently moved to Greenwich Village in New York City and found work as pop music critic for The New Yorker and New York Magazine.
Wurtzel is best known for publishing her 1994 memoir, the best-selling Prozac Nation, at the age of 26. The book chronicles her battle with depression while being a college undergraduate and her experience with the medication Prozac. The film adaptation of Prozac Nation, starring Christina Ricci, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2001. It was also telecast on the Starz! network in March 2005 and was released on DVD in the summer of 2005.
In 2004, she applied to Yale Law School and was accepted despite the fact that "… Her combined LSAT score of 160 was, as she put it, 'adequately bad' … 'Suffice it to say I was admitted for other reasons,' Ms. Wurtzel said. 'My books, my accomplishments.'…" She received her J.D. in 2008, but failed the New York bar exam the first time she took it. Wurtzel sparked controversy in the legal community by holding herself out as a lawyer in interviews, even though she was not licensed to practice law in any jurisdiction at the time. However, Wurtzel passed the February 2010 New York State bar exam, and was employed at Boies, Schiller & Flexner in New York City for some time. As of June 2012, she is no longer listed as an attorney with that firm. In July 2010, she wrote a proposal in the Brennan Law Center blog for abolishing bar exams.
In January 2009, she authored an article at The Guardian, arguing that the vehemence of opposition demonstrated in Europe to Israel's actions in the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, when compared to the international reaction to human rights abuses in China, Darfur, and Arab countries, suggested an antisemitic undercurrent fueling the outrage.
In 2009 Wurtzel published an article in Elle magazine about societal pressures related to aging. In the frank article, she discusses her regrets about her youth of casual sex and drug-taking, and her realization that she is not as beautiful as she once was. In the article, she writes "Whoever said youth is wasted on the young actually got it wrong; it's more that maturity is wasted on the old."
Wurtzel had announced a forthcoming book entitled Creatocracy; originally scheduled for release in 2011, as of mid-2013 it had not yet been published. It is based on the thesis she wrote about intellectual property law upon graduation from Yale Law school.
Despite Prozac Nation's phenomenal success as an international bestseller, Wurtzel was nonetheless taken to court by her publisher Penguin in September of 2012 in an effort for the publisher to reclaim a $100,000 advance for a 2003 book contract for, "a book for teenagers to help them cope with depression" which Wurtzel failed to complete. Of the $100,000 Penguin advanced Wurtzel $33,000 and sought interest of $7,500 claiming to have suffered detriment at Wurtzel's expense.  The case is still in litigation.
In early 2013 Wurtzel published an article expressing the reason for the unconventional choices she had made in life, including: using heroin, not having been married, forming a family, or buying a house. "At long last, I had found myself vulnerable to the worst of New York City, because at 44 my life was not so different from the way it was at 24," she wrote.
- Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America: A Memoir (1994)
- Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women (1998)
- More, Now, Again: A Memoir of Addiction (2001)
- The Secret of Life: Commonsense Advice for Uncommon Women (2004) (previously published as Radical Sanity and The Bitch Rules)
- Vinciguerra, Thomas (2007-10-28). "Coming Soon: ‘Law School Nation’?". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- "'From Prozac Nation to Yale Law School? Elizabeth Wurtzel's Unlikely Journey'". Abcnews.go.com. 2007-03-22. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- "'The Liars’ Club: An Incomplete History of Untruths and Consequences'". Observer.com. 2006-03-06. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- "Elizabeth Wurtzel (author of Prozac Nation)". Goodreads.com. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- "For Better or for Wurtzel, Author and Lawyer Elizabeth Sanguine About Failing the Bar Exam". Observer.com. 2008-11-18. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- "Hypericum Buyers Club". Hbcprotocols.com. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- Schwartz, Missy (2005-02-21). "''Bitter Pill'', Entertainment Weekly". Ew.com. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- Vinciguerra, Thomas (2007-10-28). "Coming Soon: ‘Law School Nation’?". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
- "Elizabeth Wurtzel: Can She Call Herself a ‘Lawyer’ Without Having Passed the Bar?". Abovethelaw.com. 2009-07-27. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- "Passing February 2010 (W-Z)". nybarexam.org. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- "Search Results". bsfllp.com. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
- Wurtzel, Elizabeth (2010-07-01). "Testing, Testing… What Exactly Does the Bar Exam Test". http://www.brennancenter.org. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
- Wurtzel, Elizabeth (2009-04-09). "Twelve Years Down the Drain". online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- Wurtzel, Elizabeth (September 21, 2008). "Beyond the Trouble, More Trouble: Depression in the best of us". New York Magazine, "Intelligencer"
- Wurtzel, Elizabeth (January 16, 2009). "Standing against a tide of hatred". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- Wurtzel, Elizabeth (2009-05-20). "Failure to Launch: When Beauty Fades". Elle. Retrieved 2011-02-09.
- "Studio 360 Live with Elizabeth Wurtzel, Eugene Mirman & Tune-Yards", WNYC, Monday, May 23, 2011 (archived 2011)
- Flood, Alison. "Penguin sues authors over 'failing to deliver books'". The Guardian London. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
- Elizabeth Wurtzel, Elizabeth Wurtzel Confronts Her One-Night Stand of a Life, New York Magazine, January 6, 2013
- 1998 interview with Elizabeth Wurtzel by Gerald Peary
- Sole Rock N Roll Survivor – Wurtzel's piece from The Harvard Crimson which won the 1987 Rolling Stone College Journalism Award
- A Conversation with Elizabeth Wurtzel, Author and First-Year Lawyer October 11, 2008 blog post from WSJ.com
- Elizabeth Wurtzel at the Internet Movie Database
- Elizabeth Wurtzel on Twitter