Edison Price Vizzini was the birth name of a late American writer, Ned Vizzini. He is renowned for his acclaimed work in young adult literature. Although he wrote a handful of novels in his short lifetime, his works had a mass readership.
Vizzini was born on April 4, 1981 and grew up in Brooklyn, New York City. In 1999, he graduated from Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. His school life became a kind of a model for the some characters and events in his novels. Vizzini started off writing at a young age of 15. He began his writing career with an essay that was published in New York Press. His freelance job allowed him to write on an array of topics from his family vacation experience to drinking experience. Vizzini’s work was recognized and praised as he was offered a job at the prestigious New York Times Magazine. Here he was required to produce articles concerning teenagers.
One of his article, titled ‘Teen Angst? Nah’ was published in May 1998. The columns he wrote for New York Press became central to his upcoming book. At 19 he published his debut novel Teen Angst? Naaah…: A Quasi-Autobiography. This book contains Vizzini’s real life stories from Stuyvesant High School. During this time he also enrolled himself at Hunter College. The next book that he penned was Be More Chill which came out in 2004. The story is set in near future (2010) about a teen Jeremy Heere. Jeremy, a high school student suffers from the age old dilemma of teenager of being sidelined by the bullies. But he finds a solution to this problem as he learns about ‘squip’ a brain energizing computerized pill. The book received mostly positive reviews. Some critics also pointed out the autobiographical elements in the novel. The language and lack of moral had other critics criticized the book.
Subsequently, Vizzini’s another novel appeared in 2006. The book entitled It’s Kind of a Funny Story, is inspired by a true event in his life. In an interview Vizzini professed that 85% of the novel story is actually true. When he was 23, he called a suicide hotline and was admitted in the adult wing of a psychiatric hospital in Brooklyn. In the novel he shared his personal experience of severe depression and of staying at the hospital. The book alters the events slightly as it features 15 year old protagonist Craig Gilner suffering from suicidal depression. Craig’s social inadequacy at the school is shown to be the causative of his illness which he shares with his creator. The novel was able to garner positive response from the critics and readers and also had Vizzini won 2007 Best Book for Young Adults from the American Library Association. It was adapted into film in 2010 by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden.
Vizzini penned his third novel under fantasy genre, named The Other Normals, published in 2012. It is an “Alternative Fantasy” featuring a teenager who lands in a fantasy world. In 2013 Vizzini published another fantasy novel in collaboration with Chris Columbus, a renowned children’s author and filmmaker. House of Secrets is a children’s fantasy that climbed New York Times bestseller list instantly. Vizzini offered his services as a screenwriter, as well, for MTV’s supernatural drama Teen Wolf. In addition to that he also delivered lectures regarding mental health which can be improved through writing. On 19th of November 2013 a sad series of event transpired as Ned Vizzini committed suicide jumping off the roof of a building.