Prozac Nation Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Prozac Nation

Elizabeth Wurtzel details her struggle with depression starting from early adolesence and continuing throughout college and beyond. She speaks of a great force outside of herself, a "black wave," that takes over her being and immobilizes her during a time when we as a society were first beginning to understand depression as a mental illness. In attempts to get her emotions under control, Wurtzel describes her journey through therapy, self-medication with drugs and alcohol, thoughts of suicide, and hospitalization.
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   It is not until Wurtzel has been battling her inner chemistry for years that antidepressants come into play. Wurtzel's thought provoking account, full of a variety of rock bottoms, brings to light a modern American generation that has become reliant on pills to find happiness.
The review of this Book prepared by Pamela

'Prozac Nation' is a reflective, personal and raw account of Elizabeth Wurtzel's battle with depression as a child, teenager, and an adult. The book takes us from her early years, where the depression first reared it's head and laid down it's roots, up until the present day. The book is shocking, painful and magnetic - It draws you so far in that you can almost begin to sense what this author is enduring, and anyone who has suffered from depression first-hand will imediately connect with this book. A very compelling, honest and moving story. 'More, Now, Again,' is the sequel to 'Prozac Nation' and is equally compelling. The style Elizabeth writes with is plainer and more abrupt in this book, however this is very effective and enforces her image as a straight talking character with tons of integrity. 'More, Now, Again' describes the authors descent into drug abuse and her subsequent recovery.
The review of this Book prepared by Kat Albarran

Prozac Nation is a memoir of not only the hardships, but also the major depression which Elizabeth Wurtzel encountered throughout her life. Elizabeth's book is written in a genuine and personal way, which inspires many people who suffer from depression to know that they are not alone. She describes her way of life, and the events she experiences firsthand - all the while attempting to manage her depression. Toward the end of the book, Elizabeth Wurtzel is introduced to SSRI medications, and in her case Prozac. She describes her experience and life after taking Prozac, and how she has come to appreciate it.
The review of this Book prepared by Kate

Elizabeth Wurtzel tells the story of her depression in the book Prozac Nation. This memoir describes in elaborate detail what is it like to live with a mental illness.
The review of this Book prepared by Susan Bistrican

Elizabeth Wurtzel uses this book to describe her struggle with depression. She does an excellent job of writing about a chronic/clinical depressive in the voice of a seasoned narcissist. Such a feat renders the book almost unreadable. Wurtzel name-drops her way through her own past, pointing out again and again her own affinity for Art. Wurtzel is shameless and less of a writer than she'd have you believe (note the preponderance of many-lettered adjectives). It's a sad book, but the sadness has nothing to do with the jaded '90s tragedy Wurtzel envisions (and seeks to embody in the embarrassing cover photo). What's sad, in fact, is that this shit was published. It's true that depressives are self absorbed and feel that self-absorption justified, but there are books that illustrate that point more productively.
The review of this Book prepared by Ren McCormick

In her teens, highly intelligent and well-bred Elizabeth Wurtzel was prey to mental aberration and paranoia, as well as much dabbling in sex and drugs. This is her story. Fairly well written, her account travels to Harvard, London, and early adulthood with a developing career as journalist and writer, and does not soft-peddle the author's selfish and self-destructive behavior. The title is something of a misnomer, however; the book does not really talk about the nation in any way, and Prozac, effective as it was in her life, does not turn up until page 296 of a 351-page book. Still, a bracing account.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Prozac Nation

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Plot & Themes

Phys disability/mental struggle?    -   Yes Struggle with    -   mental illness Which institution    -   mental hospital Life in an institution    -   Yes

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally Ill


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York Century:    -   1980's-Present

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   like laughing Graphic sex in book?    -   Yes How much dialogue in bio?    -   significantly more descript than dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

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