A Conversation with Elizabeth Wurtzel (1967–2020)

Natasha Stagg and Elizabeth Wurtzel at n+1:

I had to fight for Prozac Nation because everyone wanted it to be a novel. They really thought that I should write a novelized version of my life. The whole thing was: “Who are you? Why would anybody care about your life? If you’re talented, you can write a novel, because you can invent something.” It’s not like I couldn’t do that. It’s not like it couldn’t have been a novel. But I don’t want to write novels. It’s terrible that men make the rules, and that men have decided that novels are somehow more valuable. It’s really, really, really hard to write about yourself. Women who have written about their own lives should be getting the Nobel Prize. Those are the only people who should be getting the Nobel Prize from now on because it’s really hard to do. It’s not that hard to write about politics. Read a book and you can do it. It’s not that hard to write about Donald Trump, or for that matter Afghanistan. It is really hard to figure out the stuff that scares people. I’m not doing this because I need to figure myself out. I have myself figured out. I’m doing it because other people need to figure themselves out. I’m not writing about myself. I’m writing about other people. It’s a really cheap thing to think that all I’m doing is writing about my life, as if that’s some easy thing.

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