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The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age epistolary novel by American writer Stephen Chbosky, which was first published on February 1, 1999, by Pocket Books. Set in the early 1990s, the novel follows Charlie, an introverted teenager, through his freshman year of high school in a Pittsburgh suburb. The novel details Charlie’s unconventional style of thinking as he navigates between the worlds of adolescence and adulthood, and attempts to deal with poignant questions spurred by his interactions with both his friends and family.
Chbosky took five years to develop and publish The Perks of Being a Wallflower, creating the characters and other aspects of the story from his own memories. The novel addresses themes permeating adolescence, including introversion, sexuality, drug use, and mental health, while also making several references to other literary works, films, and pop culture in general. Because of the above-mentioned themes, it was banned in some American schools for its content.
In 2012, Chbosky himself adapted and directed a film version starring Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, and Emma Watson. The film boosted the novel’s sales, and the book reached The New York Times Best Seller list.
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