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Novels About PTSD

Discussion in 'General' started by White0nWhite, Nov 4, 2007.

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  1. White0nWhite

    White0nWhite Member

    Or with characters dealing with ptsd...

    In light of the movie thread, I though I should start this one;

    There's a series of books by Clare Bell.
    1. Ratha's Creature
    2. Clan Ground
    3. Ratha and Thistle-Chaser
    4. Ratha's Challenge
    5. Ratha's Courage

    It's about these prehistoric cheetahs with human intelligence. There's a character in them called Thistle-Chaser/Newt. I believe she's only in the first, third, forth, and fifth, books. "Ratha and Thistle-Chaser" is actually dedicated to people with PTSD. It clearly states; "For the Dreambiters and Dreambitten, may they find healing.."

    Newt describes her flashbacks and nightmares as "the Dreambiter".
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  3. reallydown

    reallydown I'm a VIP

    One just off the top of my head...Mrs. Dalloway...Septimus Warren Smith has it...It was not a good idea for me to write the term paper on that last year...OOps
  4. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Nora Roberts wrote a book called 'Angels Fall'. It doesn't specifically mention PTSD, but it's a book a lot of people here could relate to. She did a really wonderful job with it, IMO.

    Also, there's a series of books by J.D. Robb called the '...in death' series. It starts out with 'Naked in death' and goes from there. There's 20+ books in the series. The books don't have PTSD as the main theme of the stories, but each book has the character learning more about her past and traumas.

  5. starshine

    starshine Active Member

    Old thread I know. But in The Horse Whisperer, the horse has PTSD. It's a very moving book.

    Lots of Virginia Andrews' books are PTSD relevant. I'm currently reading WildFlowers by her.

    Actually, many sagas are full of PTSD! Ruth Hamilton and Rosie Goodwin [especially Nobody's Girl] particularly. Abuse related, and also there're many more combat related where the story's set in one of the world wars' times.

    Also look at The Drowning Girl by Margaret Leroy.
  6. dust

    dust Well-Known Member


    I've always thought Mr Vertigo by Paul Auster MUST be about PTSD. I've read Mrs Dalloway - a desperate novel if there ever was one. Thinking about others.... whirrrrrr.

  7. Blues in NYC

    Blues in NYC Active Member

    I think Beloved by Toni Morrison definitely fits the criteria, but it does have a strong element of magic realism. In fact, some of the semi-spiritual highly disorienting experiences of PTSD are best described in my opinion via writing styles like magic realism.

    Unfortunately, it's been a very long time since I've been able to completely read a work of narrative fiction. With the way my memory and attention work, I've always done much better with works of reiterative concepts such as philosophy, popular science, and mathematics.

    ~ Blues
    marylouise likes this.
  8. Kunoichi

    Kunoichi Well-Known Member

    I am reading a fiction/fantasy trilogy. Its by Brandon Sandersen/Sanderson and the first book is called Mistborn. It doesn't say PTSD specifically but I thought it had some very good principles and I feel that one of the characters VIN has PTSD.
  9. dust

    dust Well-Known Member

    Oh, some more came to mind...

    Remainder by Tom McCarthy - a narrator who suffers memory loss and tries to recoup it by re-enacting his trauma.

    The Fall by Camus

    Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks - English novel about the first world war with echoes of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen.
  10. kers

    kers I'm a VIP

    Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy also focuses on WWI with Sassoon and Owen playing tangential roles. The books are Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, and The Ghost Road.
  11. marylouise

    marylouise Active Member

    I'm adding a few, which have all had an impact on me:

    -Siri Hustvedt's "The Sorrow of an American," which is a meditation on all types of trauma through the perspective of a New York City psychiatrist who is himself dealing with a depression.

    -Pat Conroy's "Prince of Tides," which directly addresses poverty, violence, and abuse in a Southern family, focusing on the aftermath, repression, and healing of trauma for its adult protagonist.

    -"The Bone People" by Keri Hulme, set in an isolated area of New Zealand, in which characters who are paralyzed by their traumas learn how to open their hearts and love. An all-time favorite of mine; beautifully and sensitively written. I think it really gets to the sense of internal isolation that trauma survivors live with.

    For novels related to war trauma, I'm adding:

    -"Paco's Story" by Larry Heinemann (a National Book Award winner) which focuses on the psychological aftermath of the Vietnam war.

    -"In the Lake of the Woods" by Tim O'Brien about a middle-aged man who is dealing with PTSD related to Vietnam from an isolated cabin in Michigan.

    -"Ceremony" by Leslie Marmon Silko, focused on a WWII vet returning to his Indian reservation in the American Southwest. Also one of my all-time favorite novels for its sensitive portrayal of trauma and ability to portray what goes on internally for trauma survivors.
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