We lost an incredible talent last month. Ned Vizzini took his own life after battling depression for many years. I was heartbroken when I heard the news. I had recently come off the e-wait list at the library for the audio version of House of Secrets, the book he co-authored with Chris Columbus, but hadn’t had a chance to listen yet. I wish I hadn’t put it off. Now I’m not sure when I’ll be ready to hear it.
After his death, I pulled out my copy of It’s Kind of a Funny Story and poured over it, praying that the hopeful ending I remembered would still resonate with me. That I hadn’t missed some obvious sign, or imagined that the main character, and in part, the author himself, felt that people could face their demons, could understand that Tentacles didn’t have to define them, and know that it could get better.
And while incredibly bittersweet the second time through, It’s Kind of a Funny Story still made me believe in a world where depression doesn’t have to win. Thank you, Ned Vizzini, for that.