In 1994, Stephen Chbosky discovered the main character of his soon-to-be smash hit novel "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" while writing what he calls "a very different story."
Chbosky grew up in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and moved to California to study film writing at USC. His cinematic work was soon featured at the Sundance Film Festival and on television. While he was in school, he started to write a story in which the narrator says, "I guess that's just one of the perks of being a wallflower."
He told LA Youth in 2001, that he wrote that line, paused, and realized that the character he was really trying to find was in that sentence. He stopped writing the story and wrote "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" five years later.
This September, Chbosky's tale of Charlie -- a high school student who has to navigate the ropes of high school, growing up, and the loss of a good friend -- will hit the silver screen starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller.
Chbosky wrote, directed, and produced the cinematic adaptation of his first novel, which was published in 1999 by MTV Books. Since, the book has been read by millions, included in high school curricula, and challenged and banned by thousands of schools for "homosexuality, drug use, and sexual behavior."
He'll be at Changing Hands tomorrow, August 30 at 5 p.m. to talk about the book, the film, and lessons learned along the way.
Tickets to the event are free with the purchase of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" from Changing Hands ($19.99 hardcover or $14 paperback). General admission opens at 4:30pm; first come, first served. More info is available at the Changing Hands website.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.