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Author Stephen Chbosky lectures

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - All of this year’s incoming students at Slippery Rock University were asked to read his work and Oct. 4 they will have the chance to meet Pittsburgh native Stephen Chbosky when he lectures in the University Union.

The 7 p.m. address is part of SRU’s annual Summer Reading Program, designed to provide a common experience for all incoming students.

Chbosky  CHBOSKY The reading program committee selected Chbosky’s coming-of-age novel “the perks of being a wallflower” as this year’s book. The book, written in diary form by “Charlie,” tells of his high school experiences as a freshman working to develop new friends and confronting the problems of growing up, both intellectually and emotionally. Chbosky has said the work is both autobiographical and fictional.

“The committee chose the book because the topics covered are relevant to college students as well. The themes used are ones that we as a University strive to effectively address,” said April Longwell, assistant professor, director of SRU’s Honor’s Program and chair of the Summer Reading Program.

SRU President Robert Smith used the summer book as the focus for his address to new students at the start of fall semester classes. Smith urged stuents to take note of Charlie’s decisions and to work to make correct choices in their own lives.

“perks of being a wall flower” is being turned into a movie with some of the film to be shot in Pittsburgh this fall.

Chbosky’s book came to prominence after being published by MTV Books in 1999 and drawing the attention of The New York Times. It also became controversial when banned by some schools because of its adult themes, which some felt were inappropriate for teenagers. The author is expected to address those concerns as part of his SRU lecture.

A graduate of Upper St. Clair High School, Chbosky has said his writing has been influenced by J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” and the writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tennessee Williams. He has said his friendship with Stewart Stern, screenwriter of the cult-following James Dean film “Revel Without a Cause” also provided substantial influence in becoming an author.

Chbosky edited “Pieces,” an anthology of short stories, and worked on the film adaptation of Michael Chabon’s novel “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh,” which is yet to be produced. He also wrote the screenplay for the 2005 film adaptation of the Broadway rock musical “Rent.”

His television work includes serving as co-creator, executive producer and writer for the CBS television drama “Jericho.”