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Stephen Chbosky (1972-) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

Born 1972, in Pittsburgh, PA; Ethnicity: "Polish, Slovack, Irish, Scotch." Education: University of Southern California, B.F.A., 1992.


Agent—Jeff Gorin, William Morris Agency, 1 William Morris Place, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.


Screenwriter, television writer, and stage writer. Director of film The Four Corners of Nowhere, 1995.


(And director) The Four Corners of Nowhere (screenplay), 1995.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (young-adult novel), MTV Books (New York, NY), 1999.

(Editor) Pieces: A Collection of New Voices, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2000.

(Co-editor and contributor) Sexaholix (stage play), Rebel Productions, 2001.

Rent (screenplay; based on the stage play by Jonathan Larson), Revolution Studios, 2005.

Author, with Bill Russell, of book for musical Kept; author of screenplay Audrey Hepburn's Neck and, with Jon Sherman, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, based on the novel by Michael Chabon.

Work in Progress

A screenplay adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.


Pennsylvania-born screenwriter, stage writer, and television writer Stephen Chbosky is also the author of the coming-of-age novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In this novel Chbosky opens a window onto the depressed world of a fifteen-year-old tenth grader named Charlie. While Charlie explores the traditional teenage pursuits of sex, drugs, and dating, he conveys his adventures through a series of letters sent to an unnamed friend. Charlie's main relationships are with best friend Patrick, who is gay, and Sam, a girl Charlie has fallen for although she is already romantically involved. "Intellectually precocious, Charlie seems a tad too naïve in many other ways, yet his reflections on family interactions, first date, drug experimentation, first sexual encounter, and regular participation in Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings are compelling," commented Sally Estes in Booklist. Stephanie Zvirin, also writing in Booklist, referred to The Perks of Being a Wallflower as a "darkly funny, explicit novel."

Chbosky did not intend The Perks of Being a Wallflower to be a young-adult novel, but because of its graphic focus on adolescent life it has been viewed as such by many critics. In an interview with Marty Beckerman for wordriot.com, Chbosky discussed how he responded to the criticism and controversy that followed the book's publication. "It's hard, because I didn't write it to be challenged. I didn't write it to be a controversial book. I can't really take it as a point of pride because it was banned someplace." Instead, Chbosky has
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reacted by "mourning the fact that people can't agree to disagree, and people can't find common ground. The people who object for moral reasons cannot see the value of the book, and the people who see the value of the book don't realize why it's upsetting to more religious people."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, February 15, 1999, Sally Estes, review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, p. 1038; March 15, 2000, review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, p. 1361; June 1, 2001, Stephanie Zvirin, review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, p. 1863.

Publishers Weekly, January 25, 1999, review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, p. 73; July 24, 2000, p. 71.

School Library Journal, June, 1999, Francisca Goldsmith, review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, p. 126.

Time, July 19, 1999, review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, p. 79.

Variety, May 6, 2002, Dennis Harvey, review of Kept, p. 49.


PittsburghLive Online, http://www.pittsburghlive.com/ (November 22, 2005), Ed Blank, interview with Chbosky.

WordRiot.org, http://www.wordriot.org/ (August 10, 2005), Marty Beckerman, interview with Chbosky.

Additional topics

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