Night + Day

April 5
Bitch Nation Elizabeth Wurtzel is controversial in two different ways. For one, she's a self-styled cultural provocateur whose two books, Prozac Nation and the new Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women, have generated no little comment in the mainstream press for their respective takes on twentysomething depression and, well, bitches. A lot of the criticism she's engendered is a good example of the double standard for women that is one of her themes. For the other, however, she's generated a lot of deserved derision for bad writing (her painful stint as the New Yorker's rock critic) and her undisciplined and seemingly unedited writing style. Still, as the new book shows, she has a voracious, vacuumlike mind when it comes to assembling images and themes in pop culture, and her defense of society's female problem children is long overdue; her reading tonight should not be boring. She appears at 7 p.m. at the Booksmith, 1644 Haight (at Cole), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-8688. (Bill Wyman)

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