Tributes have been pouring in from writers, friends and fans of YA author Ned Vizzini, who tragically committed suicide on Thursday. In addition to being an accomplished young writer—he published his first book, Teen Angst? Naaah...: A Quasi-Autobiography, when he was still in college—the Park Slope native was also known for his work spreading awareness about adolescent anxiety and depression, speaking at schools and universities about coping with mental illness and stress. Those who knew him remembered him for his talent, humor, kindness and creativity.
"I could go on about Ned Vizzini, and especially how encouraging he was of his friends and how genuinely in awe he was of other writers," Kyle Buchanan, senior editor at Vulture and friend of Vizzini, wrote yesterday. "Everyone he'd ever worked with or known well, he praised at length as though he simply couldn't fathom how creatively that person's mind worked. Every time, I just wanted to say, 'Ned, you're a better storyteller than all of them. You know that, right?'" Cecil Castellucci, a fellow YA novelist, praised Vizzini for his "elegant mind" in an L.A. Review of Books tribute yesterday "He was a very talented writer, had a great sense of humor, was whip smart, an honest talker and had very generous heart," Castellucci wrote. "He was the real deal. The full package. And he shone."
Christopher Columbus, who recently worked with Vizzini on fantasy novels House of Secrets and House of Secrets: Battle of the Beasts told the L.A. Times he was "the perfect collaborator, with a brilliant imagination and a sharp sense of humor." "I've spent nearly every day over the past two years working closely with him, and I can't fathom a world without him," he said. And Rachel Cohn, co-author of YA novel Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, praised the "exceptional depth of feeling and thought" in Vizzini's writing that. "The simple style revealed sentence construction and layers of feeling that were as intense and intelligent as Ned was," she told the L.A. Times. "How it hurts that he succumbed to the very disease he'd done so much to educate readers about, and help them through. He was truly a unique person and writer, but his books will live on to help generations."
Vizzini was 32 years old; he is survived behind his wife, Sabra, and son Felix.