From Cat Marnell, “New York’s enfant terrible” (The Telegraph), a candid and darkly humorous memoir of prescription drug addiction and self-sabotage, set in the glamorous world of fashion magazines and downtown nightclubs.
At twenty-six, Cat Marnell was an associate beauty editor at
Lucky, one of the top fashion magazines in America—and
that’s all most people knew about her. But she hid a secret life.
She was a prescription drug addict. She was also a “doctor shopper”
who manipulated Upper East Side psychiatrists for pills, pills, and
more pills; a lonely bulimic who spent hundreds of dollars a week
on binge foods; a promiscuous party girl who danced barefoot on
banquets; a weepy and hallucination-prone insomniac who would take
This is a tale of self-loathing, self-sabotage, and yes,
self-tanner. It begins at a posh New England prep school—and with a
prescription for Attention Deficit Disorder medication Ritalin. It
continues to New York, where we follow Marnell’s amphetamine-fueled
rise from intern to editor through the beauty departments of
NYLON, Teen Vogue, Glamour, and Lucky.
We see her fight between ambition and addiction and how,
inevitably, her disease threatens everything she worked so hard to
From the Condé Nast building (where she rides the elevator
alongside Anna Wintour) to seedy nightclubs, from doctors’ offices
and mental hospitals, Marnell shows—like no one else can—what it is
like to live in the wild, chaotic, often sinister world of a young
female addict who can’t say no.
Combining lightning-rod subject matter and bold literary
aspirations, How to Murder Your Life is mesmerizing,
revelatory, and necessary.