Young adult author Ned Vizzini committed suicide by jumping off the roof of his parents’ Park Slope apartment building on Dec. 19, according to the medical examiner’s office. He was 32.
Vizzini grew up in Park Slope and authored four novels for teens, including the best-selling “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” based on his five-day stay in New York Methodist Hospital’s psychiatric ward. His death sparked an outpouring of grief and remembrance from his friends in the literary community.
“Ned loved to write about nerdy outsiders who were finding their way to manhood, and he did it better than anyone,” Vizzini’s HarperCollins editor Alessandra Balzer wrote in a statement on Facebook. “He’ll always be one of my favorite writers and his death leaves an unimaginable void in our community.”
In addition to writing, Vizzini often gave talks about his long battle with depression, and how students can use prose to overcome mental health problems.
His 2006 novel “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” was adapted into a 2010 film starring Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, and Viola Davis. Vizzini had moved to Los Angeles, where he co-authored two young adult fantasy books, “House of Secrets,” with film director Chris Columbus, and was writing for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming NBC thriller “Believe” in the weeks before he took the fatal 13-story plunge on Plaza Street West.
“I am stunned and deeply saddened by the death of Ned Vizzini,” Columbus told the Los Angeles Times. “He was the perfect collaborator, with a brilliant imagination and a sharp sense of humor.”
Vizzini is survived by his wife, Sabra Embury, their son, Felix, his parents, James Vizzini and Emma, his brother, Daniel, and his sister, Eleonora.