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30 June 2020
Comparative American Studies Special Issue: Elizabeth Wurtzel
Elizabeth Wurtzel (1967-2020) is most famous for her controversial bestselling autobiographies, Prozac Nation (1994) and More, Now, Again (2001). These works are often cited as seminal in the ‘memoir boom’ of the late 1990s and early 2000s and established Wurtzel as a cult classic and an icon of her generation. Her writing spans across almost 40 years and includes journalism, personal essays (most notably Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women (1998)), and other non-fiction. In the aftermath of Wurtzel’s passing in January 2020, a reappraisal of her literary career seems both timely and a mark of tribute. We welcome articles exploring the following aspects:
- Reassessments of the impact of Wurtzel’s writing in the context of American literature and culture in the late 1990s-early 2000s
- Analyses of Wurtzel’s influence on contemporary confessional/autobiographical writing, especially by women
- Analyses of gender, sexuality, mental health and illness in Wurtzel’s work
- Situating Wurtzel as a Jewish woman writer, or a Generation X writer
- Wurtzel’s non-fiction, such as her music and online journalism
- Wurtzel’s literary influences
- Analyses of the systemic critiques of late 20th/ early 21st century America in Wurtzel's writing
- Wurtzel and the cult of the individual
Articles which take a comparative focus (comparing Wurtzel to other writers and cultures, for example) are especially encouraged.
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Please send any initial inquiries and 300 word article proposals to Rachael McLennan ([email protected]) and Maria Torres-Quevedo ([email protected]) Please note - we have decided to extend the deadline until 30 June 2020. We’re aware that people will be experiencing pressures on their time at the moment and so if the deadline poses difficulties, we’re happy to discuss this further if that is helpful. The deadline for final articles will be around January 2021.
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