Publisher's synopsis

This is the compelling story of Jonathan, a charming teenager who turns into a fearful and tormented young man; it is also the heart-rending story of a mother facing the realisation that her child is going mad. First published in 1991, this book has become a classic, and is as moving and as relevant today as it ever was. This 1998 edition has been updated with a new Foreword from the author detailing the effects this book has had on society, both in Australia and worldwide; a new Afterword which discusses the advances in treatments for schizophrenia and developments in community attitudes and programs for mental illnesses in general; and a new, up-to-date section on Where to Go for Help.


  • Winner 1991 Human Rights Award (Non-fiction)
  • Winner 1994 Braille & Talking Book Library Award-VIC
  • Shortlisted 1991 Colin Roderick Award (Best Book)
  • Shortlisted 1991 FAW Award (Book of the Year)
  • Shortlisted 1992 The Age Book of the Year (Non-fiction)
  • Shortlisted 1992 VIC Premier’s Literary Award (Non-fiction)