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A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Ozeki tackles depression from two angles: through the protagonist, 16-year-old Nao, who falls into a suicidal depression after moving back to Tokyo; and through Nao’s father, who falls into a deeper depression after losing his job.

 

After Birth by Elisa Albert

Albert never explicitly names postpartum depression in her 2015 novel on a woman in the first year of motherhood, but Ari’s resentment over her experience of childbirth, alienation from the rest of the world, and complicated feelings about her son ring true to the dark and confusing period that often comes, well, after birth.

 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel has become a classic for its brutally honest portrayal of her own depression. In hypnotic stream of consciousness, she describes the emotional and psychological breakdown of Esther Greenwood, a woman struggling against self-destructive thoughts and overwhelming darkness.

 

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

The Round House tells the story of 13-year-old Joe, who is forced to grow up too soon after his mother is brutally attacked. Erdrich gives poignant insight into the daily manifestation of PTSD, and offers sympathetic perspective of what it’s like to care about someone struggling with it.

 

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

The driving force of Murakami’s devastating novel is the “sickness,” or, depression, which plagues Naoko, Toru, and the young man whose suicide brings them together. It’s an honest and lyrical look at the overwhelming feeling of powerlessness and helplessness that depression often brings.

 

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Tim O’ Brien plants himself into this collection of semi-autobiographical stories about soldiers in the Vietnam war, and his character exhibits the tell-tale signs of PTSD — depression, alienation, guilt, and nightmares — that make integration back into civilian life seem so impossible. (Source: booklovely.com).