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How to Murder Your Life


How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir by Cat Marnell


Cat Marnell's memoir, "How to Murder Your Life", is a stark and honest portrayal of her life amidst the glitz of the fashion magazine world and the grim reality of addiction. The story begins with Marnell's adolescence in a prestigious New England prep school, where she first encounters prescription drugs. It follows her to New York City, where her career in beauty editing at renowned magazines like NYLON, Teen Vogue, Glamour, and Lucky skyrockets. Despite her professional success, Marnell struggles with a hidden life of drug addiction, bulimia, and chronic insomnia, often resorting to doctor shopping for pills. Her narrative is a raw depiction of ambition clashing with self-destructive tendencies, set against the backdrop of New York's high-pressure fashion and nightlife scenes.

Key Themes

  1. Addiction and the Workplace: The contrast between Marnell's successful career and her escalating drug addiction.
  2. Mental Health and Self-Sabotage: Exploration of bulimia, insomnia, and the impact of mental health on personal and professional life.
  3. Glamour vs. Reality: The dichotomy of the glamorous fashion industry and the darker, unseen side of the lifestyle.


Marnell's memoir is significant for its unflinching honesty and vivid portrayal of life in a high-pressure, glamorous industry riddled with unseen challenges. It's a cautionary tale that illustrates the destructive nature of addiction and the often ignored mental health struggles in professional settings.