Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation, dies at 52

Elizabeth Wurtzel.
(Image credit: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons)

Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of the controversial 1994 memoir, Prozac Nation, has died at age 52. Her husband Jim Freed confirmed to CNN that she lost her battle with breast cancer at a hospital in Manhattan Tuesday morning.

Wurtzel startled the world with her memoir chronicling her experience with mental illness and pharmaceutical medication within the context of her generation. While it received mixed reviews, her book ignited conversation about "The United States of Depression," as Wurtzel put it.

In her same confessional style, Wurtzel wrote about her battle with cancer in The New York Times. In her essay, she advocated for BRCA testing — she learned she possessed the genetic mutation after her breast cancer diagnosis.

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Many are mourning the writer's death — journalist Ronan Farrow tweeted of Wurtzel, "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."

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Wurtzel wrote that she wasn't sorry she had cancer in The Guardian in 2018. "I feel that if something is happening to me, it must be a good thing," she wrote, "so cancer must be a blessing... I am a con artist and cancer is my final con."

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