Evaluating Representations of Mental Health in Young Adult Fiction: The Case of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower


  • Alison Sagara Monaghan Ohio State University



Parole chiave:

Narrative medicine, sick-lit, mental health, mental illness, young adult (YA) literature, Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower


This article examines representations of mental health in young adult (YA) litearature, taking up Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999) as its case study. Paying attention to the affordances of the genre of “teen sick-lit,” I connect such YA literature to the broader field of narrative medicine and consider what can be gained from this relationship. After a careful analysis of Chbosky’s novel, I conclude with a set of criteria that serve as markers of YA texts that productively convey mental health experiences. Although my focus here is on mental illness representations, my criteria and textual analysis can be extended to narratives that focus on other illness and diseases, as well.

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Come citare

Sagara Monaghan, A. (2016). Evaluating Representations of Mental Health in Young Adult Fiction: The Case of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. ENTHYMEMA, (16), 32–42. https://doi.org/10.13130/2037-2426/7400



Narrative and Medicine
Ricevuto 2016-07-27
Accettato 2016-12-22
Pubblicato 2016-12-29