I actually think I may yet get married — statistically 90% of people get married at some point. But I would say that love and craziness has overwhelmed my life, and I am trying to write about it, and at the same time tell the story of New York City from 1609 to the present.

Elizabeth Wurtzel, the prominent lawyer and bestselling, critically acclaimed author, in a recent Ask Me Anything forum on Reddit (via Althouse, via Slate).

(Additional discussion, plus a photo of me and Elizabeth Wurtzel, after the jump.)

Yours truly with La Wurtzel (click to enlarge).

Elizabeth Wurtzel isn’t always popular among readers of Above the Law; there may be a certain amount of player-hating going on. But if you read the full Ask Me Anything (AMA) at Reddit, you’ll see that she is loved and admired by so many people. Participants in the AMA gush about how much Wurtzel and her books, especially Prozac Nation and More, Now, Again (affiliate links), changed their lives — for the better.

But no Wurtzel outing would be complete without its critics. Here’s Amanda Hess, writing over at Slate’s XX Factor:

Craziness has overwhelmed Wurtzel’s life, and also her work (she dropped the word five times in a January New York Magazine essay that was, in fact, crazy). That was provocative and possibly even helpful in her memoir about a youth spent mentally ill, but it’s lost its charm as Wurtzel’s work has veered, Cat Marnell style, into the realm of self-help….

Wurtzel is happily single and childless, but only because she is nuts. This creates a kind of self-help paradox: Should we model our lives after a self-described crazy person, or follow her counterintuitive advice gleaned from years of living as a crazy person?

In partial defense of Wurtzel, Ann Althouse wonders if Hess’s critique is fair.

If you’re a Wurtzel fan, here’s some good news. She has a new book on the way:

My new book is partly based off of an article I wrote for New York Magazine that was published this past January. [Ed. note: Here's the ATL discussion.]

It is hard to say what the piece was about exactly, but it was a reckoning with life, after many things went wrong in 2012. The book is going to be a history of love at first sight in New York City. It will also be a history of New York City. I am a fifth-generation Manhattanite. My great-great grandparents lived on 8th Street, between B and C, which was not the East Village; it was just where immigrants lived. My grandmother grew up on Hester Street, on the Lower East Side. I am the only one of my friends who has not succumbed to the charms of Brooklyn, but Manhattan is home. And I have not succumbed to the charms of marriage, because I love falling in love.

Right now I am taking a break from emotional engagement and trying to be serious about work.

Taking a break from emotional engagement and focusing on work? Spoken like a true lawyer. Good luck, Elizabeth, in both your legal and literary endeavors!

“I may yet get married — statistically 90% of people get married at some point.” [Althouse]
Elizabeth Wurtzel, Self-Described Crazy Person, Administers Relationship Advice [XX Factor / Slate]
I am the author of Prozac Nation, Elizabeth Wurtzel. Ask Me Anything. [Reddit]


comments sponsored by

60 comments (hidden for your protection) Show all comments