Ned Vizzini, the author of It’s Kind of a Funny Story, several other YA books, and a few television scripts, died in Brooklyn yesterday, his best friend reported on Twitter. He was 32. Vizzini’s first book was published when he was just 19, mostly drawn from his columns for New York Press (and a piece for the Times Magazine) about life as a teenager. It’s Kind of a Funny Story, published in 2006, was adapted into a film in 2010 with Zach Galifanakis; the semiautobiographical story—85% true, he once told us—was about a high school student who checks himself into a mental hospital. He also worked as a writer on the short-lived ABC series Last Resort about a crew of a nuclear submarine that hijacks its vessel when the US government goes rogue, and on MTV’s Teen Wolf.
Vizzini lived in Los Angeles, but he grew up in Park Slope and attended Stuyvesant high school. He wrote for us occasionally, from 2007-2011, mostly book reviews but also a popular piece about book trailers. And we wrote about Ned Vizzini: we interviewed him twice, once around the release of the film, and again for the release of his 2012 book, The Other Normals. Talking about it, he told us, “For me the book is really about addiction… People talk about addiction as a lack of control, but once you have whatever it is you’re addicted to, you’re in total control—you can use it, you can play it, whatever. It’s real life that is hard to control.”
Details on what happened have not yet emerged. We’ve reached out for more information and will update if we hear anything.
UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times reports he committed suicide.
Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart