On December 20th Jarrett Kroscozka posted on FB his sadness at the passing of a friend, Ned Vizzini. It was a shocker for me, too, and you all out there have heard of Ned, if not his name, his works: Be More Chill, It’s Kind of a Funny Story (book and movie) and more from TV to essays to lots of readable moments. Why mention the demise of a young writer? Ned wrote from his own experience of mental instability and struggle and success. He died a suicide at age 32 years. I don’t like reading about the ‘failure’ of a successful writer to want to live, who seemed to be keeping the black dog at bay but not really. It’s not a happy subject. Here on Cape Cod adults and teens struggle with these issues, too, and writing and talking about it are ways of coping, but you don’t like to read these stories about ‘failure’…. I’ll go back to his books and mull the story as I now know the ending in real life. Let’s keep the writing and talking going, read the stories, and be vigilant about making sense of our lives. I don’t think Ned’s action diminishes his literature in any way. You do write reality even if it’s disguised as superheroes or dragons or fashionistas or mixed-up adolescent teens. You just gotta look a little deeper than the cover sometimes. Thanks, Ned, you are a good writer. I’ll miss the more to come part.
From the LA TIMES….
Writer Ned Vizzini died Thursday at age 32 in New York, the city’s medical examiner has confirmed. Vizzini committed suicide.
Vizzini was a successful young adult author who had found a place in Hollywood. He published his first book, “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” in 2006. The semi-autobiographical story about an ambitious high school student whose suicide attempt lands him in a mental hospital was made into the 2010 film featuring Zach Galifianakis.
By that time, Vizzini had moved to Los Angeles from New York. He published three other books — the science-fiction-inflected novel “Be More Chill,” the essay collection “Teen Angst? Naah,” and 2012’s “The Other Normals,” an alternative fantasy for teens.
His most recent book project was the middle-grade series that began with 2013’s “House of Secrets.” Vizzini co-wrote the book with film director Chris Columbus; a sequel, “House of Secrets: Battle of the Beast” is to be published March 25.
While working on books, Vizzini was also writing for television. He had been working on NBC’s “Believe,” coming in March from J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón. He was also on the writing staff of “The Last Resort” and he penned scripts for “Teen Wolf.”
Meanwhile, his essays have appeared in The New Yorker and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Vizzini is survived by his wife Sabra and their son.