Depression in literature

Depression is a key theme I’ve used in some of my short stories. A number of my favorite books deal with the subject and feature protagonists struggling with the condition. One book that stands out in this regard is ‘Praise’ by Australian writer Andrew McGahan. I enjoyed this book so much, I bought it for a friend online, as I thought he’d relate to the lead character Gordon, but I don’t think he ever read it. The bastard. Anyway._.


This Gordon I speak of, or write of, has just quit his job at the nearby bottle shop. Why, well he’s just fed up and had enough with it. So he goes on the dole and hangs around his seedy apartment complex doing not much of anything, until he gets in touch with one of his old work mates, Cynthia. They start an intense self-destructive relationship of hard drugs, booze and lots of sex – there’s lots of it, the book can be quite exhausting – but you wonder what Gordon’s doing with his life. He suffers badly with asthma, yet smokes regularly. He shows no signs of any future ambition. When I read this book, I guess I felt myself drifting through life with no purpose.



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