It had reached the point where she couldn't go more than five minutes without grinding up a pill and snorting it. Despite the worldwide success of her groundbreaking memoir, Prozac Nation - and the fame and accolades that accompanied it - nothing had changed inside Elizabeth Wurtzel. She saw herself as a terrible failure. She couldn't maintain a relationship. She was fired from every job she held. Exhausted from trying to make sense of a world she saw as increasingly phony, she left New York and headed for Florida. But not before securing from her psychiatrist a prescription for Ritalin (the drug prescribed to treat hyper-activity in children). This is an astonishing and timely memoir. It's about the search for happiness, about depravity and the will to survive even the most breathtaking self-abuse.
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(198mm x 128mm x 24mm)
Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Elizabeth Wurtzel was young, attractive, talented and the author of a bestselling book on depression, Prozac Nation. She was also insecure, frightened, depressed and pathologically anxious. With a long family history of drug and alcohol dependency going back to her great-grandfather, Wurtzel also turned to drugs. Then she decided to get help. Her addiction therapist prescribed Ritalin - described as 'a mild energizer and mood elevator' - to help her cope with her anxiety. At first it worked, and she left New York for Florida to work on her second book, Bitch. But inevitably her addictive nature reasserted itself. She began to take more and more Ritalin, learning to snort it like cocaine, and when the prescription wasn't enough she supplemented it with cocaine and any other substance her dealers could provide. This book is the story of the author's desperate attempts to get 'clean'. She describes her four months in a treatment centre, her relapse on the day she came out of treatment, and her final - and so far successful - battle against drugs. She tells her story partly in the self-justifying voice of the addict - 'just because I am going to continue with my forty-a-day habit does not mean I am in denial. I am fine', partly with a painful flippancy - 'Reality is for people who can't handle drugs' - and partly with a disconcerting self-awareness. This is the very opposite of a page-turner. At times the impulse to close the book and walk away from it is irresistible. Elizabeth Wurtzel spares neither the readers nor herself. Every sordid (and sometimes horrifying) detail about the despair, pain and humiliation of addiction is there on the page. But the story ends on a note of hope. 'That moment when I would be me, really me, true to myself and feel all right - it has finally arrived. For the first time ever, when people ask me how I am, I say that I am happy.' (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Elizabeth Wurtzel
Elizabeth Wurtzel is the bestselling author of Prozac Nation and Bitch. After graduating from Harvard College, she was the pop music critic for The New Yorker and New York Magazine. Her articles have also appeared in Glamour, Mademoiselle, Seventeen and Mirabella.