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May 27, 2024

“Prozac Nation is a young person’s book, both in terms of its author and its target audience…What seemed most important to me about Wurtzel’s writing was that she had been messy, and she was willing to detail that mess without apology…It was a radical departure from how I’d seen women write about themselves…Whether we like it or not, Prozac Nation really did change the landscape when it comes to the way women write about themselves. It laid the groundwork for the what Jia Tolentino called the “personal-essay boom” of the early 2010s, an era when no detail was too graphic, no humiliation too private for sharing.”


It’s important to understand what was going on in the culture at this time. Prozac had just become popular, and record numbers of people were being diagnosed with depression. The chart topping artists were Depeche Mode, Nirvana, and Nine Inch Nails, bands whose messages were those of apathy and wallowing in despair, and a few months before Prozac Nation was published, Kurt Cobain committed suicide. There was a problem, but people were also wary of how we were treating it. 

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Sources: Elizabeth_Wurtzel