• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Hey Little Girl is Your Daddy Home

One of the first books I ever signed up as young editor came in with the title, something like, I Hate Myself and Want to Die. Did I jump on it? Hell, yeah. And thus started my hair-raising, maddening, hilarious, heartbreaking and ultimately toxic relationship with Elizabeth Wurtzel. She died earlier this week from cancer at 52 and it feels like a hurricane has left the island of Manhattan. Elizabeth didn’t write so much as stick a pen in her vein and let it flow. She was funny, furious, impossible, exhibitionistic and I would have given anything to be as seductive, forward, and fearless. Working with her was like inhaling the most amazing second hand smoke and I was intoxicated from the first whiff. Somehow her passion for madness and mine for order produced three books that I feel honored to have worked on. Her extraordinary memoir which was eventually titled Prozac Nation, then Bitch which is a brilliant book about women, feminism, and sexuality. Was it wrong to pose topless flipping the bird for the jacket? And her last book, More, Now, Again, which was a chronicle of drug addiction, specifically Ritalin abuse. Elizabeth and I parted company as agent and client, and we didn’t stay friends though we promised we would, the way you do, in the midst of a painful breakup. Elizabeth kept a suitcase of her fan mail. It was filled with hundreds of letters from mostly young women who said Prozac Nation saved their lives. Elizabeth loved pawing through them and sharing them with me the way others might run their fingers through pearls.

Thank you, Elizabeth. I think this was your favorite photograph. It was definitely mine.download-2.jpg

 

7 Responses

  1. That is a beautiful tribute to a friend. You are fortunate to have known her and she was lucky to have had you in her corner. Peace.

  2. Thank you, Betsy, for helping bring her books into the world.

  3. what fascinating clients you’ve had, Betsy. your files are thick with literary diagnoses—would you write about them as Diana Athill did in STET? #justwondering

  4. It breaks my heart when voices go silent. Actually they aren’t silent, they are always there.

  5. You are such an amazing writer.

  6. More loss for you, Betsy. I just don’t know what to say. Fuck. Just fuck.

    I read her books and was addicted, but she scared me as a writer. I could never be so bold. So sorry she’s gone. I will miss what won’t come next.

  7. Perfect title for this. Springsteen so often has words that just fit our lives.

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