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Published on Oct 6, 2014
Elizabeth Lee Wurtzel (born July 31, 1967) is an American writer and journalist, known for publishing her best-selling memoir Prozac Nation, at the age of 26. She holds a BA from Harvard College and a JD from Yale Law School.
Wurtzel was brought up in New York City in a Jewish family. Her parents divorced when she was young. As described in her memoir Prozac Nation, Wurtzel's depression began at the ages of 10 to 12. She attended the Ramaz School in New York City. While an undergraduate at Harvard College, she wrote for The Harvard Crimson and The Dallas Morning News. She was fired from The Dallas Morning News in 1988 after being accused of plagiarism. Wurtzel also received the 1986 Rolling Stone College Journalism Award. Wurtzel subsequently moved to Greenwich Village in New York City and found work as pop music critic for The New Yorker and New York Magazine.
Wurtzel is best known for publishing her 1994 memoir, the best-selling Prozac Nation, at the age of 26. The book chronicles her battle with depression while being a college undergraduate and her experience with the medication Prozac. The film adaptation of Prozac Nation, starring Christina Ricci, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2001. It was also telecast on the Starz! network in March 2005 and was released on DVD in the summer of 2005.
In 2004, she applied to Yale Law School and was accepted despite the fact that "… Her combined LSAT score of 160 was, as she put it, 'adequately bad' … 'Suffice it to say I was admitted for other reasons,' Ms. Wurtzel said. 'My books, my accomplishments.'…" She received her J.D. in 2008, but failed the New York bar exam the first time she took it. Wurtzel sparked controversy in the legal community by holding herself out as a lawyer in interviews, even though she was not licensed to practice law in any jurisdiction at the time. However, Wurtzel passed the February 2010 New York State bar exam, and was employed at Boies, Schiller & Flexner in New York City for some time. As of June 2012, she is no longer listed as an attorney with that firm. In July 2010, she wrote a proposal in the Brennan Law Center blog for abolishing bar exams.