Autobiography as mediation and mitigation: Elizabeth Wurtzel's Prozac Nation (1994) and Porochista Khahkpour's Sick (2018)

McLennan, Rachael (2021) Autobiography as mediation and mitigation: Elizabeth Wurtzel's Prozac Nation (1994) and Porochista Khahkpour's Sick (2018). Comparative American Studies, 18 (2). pp. 221-241. ISSN 1477-5700

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Abstract

This article argues that Elizabeth Wurtzel’s work has been undeservedly neglected by autobiography studies. It explores how autobiography functions as mediation and mitigation as Wurtzel attempts to communicate her experience of depression in Prozac Nation, with rich yet problematic results, and argues that Wurtzel’s refusal or difficulties with some key features of (American) autobiography mark her major contribution to the genre. The article also argues that the general understanding of Wurtzel as a ‘rule-breaker’ has merit but is only partly true, particularly as it extends to the frequent understanding of her as providing an empowering or feminist autobiographical example for women writers. Her complex influence is explored through a brief discussion of a contemporary autobiography of illness, Porochista Khakpour’s Sick.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > American Studies
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2022 09:30
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2022 15:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/83193
DOI: 10.1080/14775700.2021.1988293

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