Ned Vizzini, the author of It's Kind of a Funny Story and other young adult books, has died at the age of 32, according to an Los Angeles Times report citing the New York City medical examiner's office. The Los Angeles-based Vizzini, a New York native whose books included an examination of teenage mental illness, including his own, died in Brooklyn, reportedly of suicide.
RIP my best friend Ned Vizzini, who died yesterday in Brooklyn. I loved him. The loss is inexpressible.— Nick Antosca (@nickantosca) December 20, 2013
Please tell me the news about the wonderful @Ned_Vizzini is just somebody's idea of a sick joke. One he might have found funny, but still.— John Schwartz -- NYT (@jswatz) December 20, 2013
Ned Vizzini is dead, a suicide. I can't process this. I remember when NYPress hired him as a teenager. http://t.co/DdrS36ijni— Matt Zoller Seitz (@mattzollerseitz) December 20, 2013
So sad. My heart goes out to Ned Vizzini's family and friends. May he RIP. http://t.co/hbTHImhhUE— Lisa Schroeder (@lisa_schroeder) December 20, 2013
Vizzini was probably best known for the semi-autobiographical It's Kind of a Funny Story, about a 16-year-old who is hospitalized for depression. The novel was turned into a 2010 film starring Zach Galifianakis. But Vizzini also wrote for MTV's "Teen Wolf" and ABC's "Last Resort," and authored four novels for young adults. Most recently, Vizzini completed House of Secrets, which he co-wrote with film director Chris Columbus. A sequel is forthcoming. He also wrote essays for the New York Times, and the Daily Beast.
A 1998 piece a very young Vizzini penned for the Times, handing down some very unconventional advice to teenage readers, still resonates for many today. "Being a teen-ager is just like being a kid," he wrote, still a teenager himself, "except that you've got five extra niggling concerns: sex, money, smoking, drinking and getting into college." He concludes:
The media present adolescence as hell on earth, chock full of evil cliques (the cliques in grade school are worse), domineering parents and wrenching decisions that will determine the rest of your life. Nah. Adolescence is a time to sit back, make some friends -- and maybe discover what you're good at. Don't believe the hype.