Elizabeth Wurtzel, Author Of 'Prozac Nation,' Dies At 52

Literary icon Elizabeth Wurtzel has died in Manhattan after a long battle with breast cancer.

The author, who famously penned the groundbreaking memoir Prozac Nation in 1994, reportedly died from “complications from leptomeningeal disease” -- an illness that occurs when cancer spreads to the cerebrospinal fluid (found in the brain and spinal cord), according to the Washington Post.

Wurtzel rose to stardom in the early '90s after publishing the memoir, which detailed her battle with depression and drug addiction.

While the book received mixed reviews upon its release, it has since been hailed as a huge influence when it comes to young women writing about mental health -- a space which had previously been dominated by prominent names.



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The book was later adapted into a film in 2001, and in 2008 she received her JD from Yale Law School and went on to pen two more books, The Secret of Life and Creatocracy.

Wurtzel was first diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in 2014.

In 2018, she revealed a second diagnosis in an article for The Guardian, while discussing her distaste for receiving pity due to her cancer diagnosis.

Elizabeth Wurtzel famously penned Prozac Nation. Image: Getty

“I hate it when people say that they are sorry about my cancer. Really? Have they met me? I am not someone that you feel sorry for," she wrote.

"I am the original mean girl. I now have stage-four upgrade privileges. I can go right to the front. But it’s always been like this. I am a line-cutter. Which is to say, I was precocious. I was early for history.”

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Friends and fans of Wurtzel have since taken to social media to pay tribute to the author and her tremendous literary influence, with journalist Ronan Farrow, who met Wurtzel in law school, describing her as "kind and generous".

Wurtzel is survived by her husband, Daily Mail Deputy Picture Editor, James "Jim" Freed, whom she married on the roof of a loft in SoHo in 2015.

Image: Getty