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The issue of suicide in thirteen reasons why a novel by jay asher

Order Reprint of this Story June 19, 2017 05: Why did the series show the suicide and sexual assault so vividly? The book, and 2017 TV series, began nationwide discussions about suicide, mental health, bullying and sexual assault.

Many praise the story for bringing up tough issues that people tend to avoid talking about. Beginning in April, library staff handed out 570 copies of the book to teens and held three discussions, at different branches.

  1. In this way, 13 Reasons Why breaks the cardinal rule. An article on the Penguin Teen site said that in your original ending, Hannah lives.
  2. The idea came 10 years after I had a close relative who attempted suicide, and she was the same age as Hannah.
  3. If you have experienced significant depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts or behaviors in the past, this show may be risky for you to watch. Why was she so sad?

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Q&A: 'Thirteen Reasons Why' author Jay Asher on bullying and teen suicide prevention

Jay Asher Asher answered some Observer questions before his talk and he admitted that although he has traveled all over the country for his book, he still gets nervous before speaking at book signings. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

How did your initial idea for the novel evolve as you wrote it? The idea came 10 years after I had a close relative who attempted suicide, and she was the same age as Hannah: She was a junior in high school. I had never thought I would write about that subject matter. But when the idea for the book came to me, I obviously understood it from a certain perspective and felt it was very important to talk about this stuff. It was a very conscious choice not to talk about mental health.

Jay Asher You mentioned your family member who attempted suicide. How do you think that shaped your perspective? For me it seemed like something that happened out of the blue. So it was very eye-opening, that even people that we assume somewhat have it together at least can be in a very dark place.

I think people would have dismissed things more if I defined what specifically was going wrong. Were there any changes in the show that you disagreed with? I really trusted the people that were involved, partly because — starting with the producers, then Brian Yorkie, who is the show creator — a lot of them started as fans.

Netflix's 13 Reasons Why and the trouble with dramatising suicide

Brian specifically started as a huge fan of the book. I would be taking away something very positive for a lot of people. One of those changes was that in the show Hannah slits her wrists. In the book she took pills.

  1. They wanted to show it as a very horrific experience. I really trusted the people that were involved, partly because — starting with the producers, then Brian Yorkie, who is the show creator — a lot of them started as fans.
  2. It was a very conscious choice not to talk about mental health.
  3. Encouragingly, there is also some information about the kinds of depictions of suicide that might actually lower risk.
  4. To have that happen is amazing. Or things going black at that point.
  5. The idea came 10 years after I had a close relative who attempted suicide, and she was the same age as Hannah. But that has always been a concern, especially when the book came out.

Can you explain that decision? They wanted to show it as a very horrific experience. So if showing something is romanticizing, and not showing it is romanticizing, the problem is the issue. There is no specific right way, and because of that, people then shut down. An article on the Penguin Teen site said that in your original ending, Hannah lives.

‘13 Reasons Why’ depicts a graphic suicide. Experts say there’s a problem with that.

Could you talk more about that? We put out just recently the 10-year anniversary [edition], which includes as one of the bonus contents, the original ending, where she lives. I did that because my relative lived. The beautiful idea of second chances.

But I was talking with my publisher, and we basically discussed a more appropriate ending: We felt it very important to show that finality. I have a hard time focusing on just one thing.