Oops, I Did It Again

Ceaselessly maligning herself, Wurtzel offers much evidence of her badness: poor credit rating, a porn habit, and of course, drug abuse. It's hard to genuinely dislike someone so bitterly aware of her own shortcomings. But it's also hard to stomach her increasingly repetitive self-exploitation. Wurtzel would probably agree, since she herself is repelled by this compulsion to confess. In the midst of a bizarre, nine-page-long digression on the death penalty and Timothy McVeigh, she excoriates the families of victims who woo the media: "I cannot fathom what makes these people think that a public discussion of their trauma will resolve it, will heal it in any way. It gives me the creeps."

Wurtzel's first book was all about timing: When Prozac Nation appeared, hardly anyone was talking about what it felt like to be debilitated by depression. But now that every other kid on the block is peddling their pain, we expect more. And not just more of the same.


Bad girl Elizabeth Wurtzel has a poor credit rating, a porn habit, and a drug addiction.
photo: Sylvia Plachy
Bad girl Elizabeth Wurtzel has a poor credit rating, a porn habit, and a drug addiction.

Other book reviews this week:

Richard Gehr on In A Dark Wood by Amanda Craig

Joanna Smith Rakoff on Zirconia by Chelsey Minnis

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