One morning this January, the artist Sabra Embury got an alarming private message from a stranger on social media.
The young man told her that he was struggling with mental illness and hearing voices, and that he had recently read “Be More Chill,” a novel by Ned Vizzini, Ms. Embury’s husband, who died in 2013. He wondered if Mr. Vizzini ever heard voices, and if that was how he got the idea for the novel, which features a teenage boy who swallows a pill-size supercomputer that manifests as a disembodied presence in his head.
Ms. Embury immediately wrote back, assuring the stranger that he wasn’t alone, and that he was brave to reach out to her.
Over the past five years, Ms. Embury has gotten similar notes on a near daily basis, ever since Mr. Vizzini, who suffered from anxiety and depression, took his own life, at the age of 32. During his short but prolific career, Mr. Vizzini often corresponded with fans who told him that his books helped them cope with their own mental anguish. Now those messages come to her.
A strange thing happened after Mr. Vizzini’s death. Rather than fading, interest in his work has grown, as a new generation of young fans discovers his books. His young adult novels, including “Be More Chill” and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” which chronicles the five days he spent in a Brooklyn psychiatric ward, continue to sell tens of thousands of copies a year, and collectively have more than a million copies in print.
Other artists are now adapting his stories into new forms — including, improbably, a raucous pop-rock, sci-fi musical comedy based on “Be More Chill.” The show — which had a sold-out Off Broadway run last year after a cast album went viral online, gathering more than 200 million streams — opened March 10 at the Lyceum Theater on Broadway, and has been optioned for a forthcoming feature film.
[Read about “Be More Chill” the musical and its Broadway opening]
The enduring success of Mr. Vizzini’s work has been a source of consolation for his family and friends. But it’s also a constant reminder of his absence.
“I’m glad that he’s reaching so many people on a positive level and helping them feel less alone in the world,” Ms. Embury said. “It’s bittersweet, because he’s not here.”
He was born Edison Price Vizzini — his parents named him after his grandfather, Edison Price, who founded the family’s business, Edison Price Lighting, a high-end lighting fixture manufacturing company — but he went by his nickname, Ned.
Growing up in the 1980s and ’90s in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Mr. Vizzini was a creative, precocious boy who excelled in school and loved Dungeons & Dragons.
Writing came naturally to him. While he was still a student at Stuyvesant High School, he began writing for The New York Press. He wrote for The New York Times Magazine, and published his first book, an essay anthology titled “Teen Angst? Naaah,” when he was 19.
“He lived under unbelievable stress, but his truest self was really goofy, and saw the pure humor and the ludicrousness of it all,” said his sister, Nora Vizzini.
He studied computer science at Hunter College, and published his first novel when he was in his early 20s. When it came out in 2004, “Be More Chill” was celebrated as an innovative, genre-bending story that inverted classic coming-of-age and high school comedy tropes.
The novel’s teenage protagonist, Jeremy, feels invisible and irrelevant, until he swallows the tiny device that teaches him how to be cool, coaches him on how to impress girls, drive a car and deflect bullies. While on the surface it reads like a raunchy teen comedy, the novel also raises prescient questions about the corrosive side effects of technology.
Mr. Vizzini — who wrote bluntly but with humor about taboo subjects like online pornography, masturbation and drugs — was hailed as an authentic and idiosyncratic new voice who could channel universal adolescent anxieties into a sci-fi comedy.
“He could master kids’ voices because he was still kind of a kid,” Jay Mandel, Mr. Vizzini’s literary agent, said.
The accolades also triggered a cascade of stress. After “Be More Chill” was published, Mr. Vizzini, who had signed a two-book contract, tried to work on a second novel, but felt incapable of writing. He was so overwhelmed by his fear of failure that he started to panic.
One night in late November, 2004, he felt so desperate that he thought about killing himself. He called a suicide prevention hotline, which directed him to a nearby hospital. He spent five days there, and when he got out, he wrote “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” which centers on a teenager named Craig who feels crushed by the pressures of his prestigious high school and calls a suicide hotline after he contemplates jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge.
He wrote the novel in a few feverish weeks, in what he described as a “mad monthlong dash to exorcise some demons.” It was named a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association and adapted into a 2010 movie starring Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts and Viola Davis.
Nick Antosca, a novelist and TV writer who was a close friend and collaborator of Mr. Vizzini’s, said he didn’t know how severe Mr. Vizzini’s depression had been until he read an early manuscript of “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.” When he asked about the origin of the idea, Mr. Vizzini said he’d been hospitalized after a near-suicide.
“He never tried to hide stuff like that,” Mr. Antosca said. “He drew very heavily from his own life, whether he was writing fantasy or nonfiction.”
Mr. Vizzini made a point of talking to his young readers openly about his brush with suicide, in a way that didn’t stigmatize mental illness, or romanticize it. In a question-and-answer session with readers, he described the morass of depression as something he struggled with even after having undergone treatment in the hospital.
“Even though I didn’t want to kill myself, I didn’t really want to live, either,” he wrote.
On his website, he compared himself to his novel’s protagonist, Craig, who wasn’t “cured” of his depression at the end of the novel, but had learned to cope with it.
“He got better as in ‘he’s not going to consider suicide again.’ He sorted out some (and only some) things in his life … like I did,” he wrote.
Over the next few years, Mr. Vizzini seemed to flourish. He got to know Ms. Embury, and one Friday the 13th in 2009, at a party at Mr. Vizzini’s apartment, they ended up talking for 12 hours, and decided they were meant to be together. They moved to Los Angeles, where Mr. Vizzini pursued screenwriting and continued writing fiction.
In 2010 they got married in Las Vegas on Friday the 13th, which they claimed as their lucky day, with an Elvis impersonator officiating. The next year, their son, Felix, was born.
Mr. Vizzini was also thriving professionally. In 2012, he published a middle-grade novel, “The Other Normals,” and the following year, he released a nearly 500-page young adult fantasy novel, “House of Secrets,” that he wrote with the movie director Chris Columbus. He landed a string of TV writing jobs, and wrote for shows like “Teen Wolf,” “Last Resort” and “Believe.
“He had a tremendous amount of energy,” said the actor and writer Ken Baumann, a close friend. “He realized he needed to take all that anxiety and self-criticism and subsume it into work.”
But as his Hollywood writing career was taking off, things began to unravel. He would wake up at four in the morning to work on his fiction before commuting to his TV writing job, and fell into what Ms. Embury described as “a constant state of burnout.”
“Everything was clicking, he’s getting everything he wanted, then at some point, things shifted,” she said. “Everyone has highs and lows, and he went into a low and didn’t come out of it.”
In late December of 2013, when he was in Brooklyn visiting his family, Mr. Vizzini jumped from the roof of a building.
A few months after Mr. Vizzini’s death, Ms. Embury and Felix, who is now 7, moved back to Brooklyn to be close to his family. They live in a cozy, art-filled walk-up apartment in Park Slope, with Barnabas, a tubby black and white cat.
Felix, who was 2 when Mr. Vizzini died, has no memory of his father, but has started asking more questions about him. “He’s getting to that age where he’s more curious,” Ms. Embury said.
In the close-knit world of young adult literature, Mr. Vizzini’s death came as a crushing loss. Even those who knew he had previously contemplated suicide were stunned.
“It was just something we did not see coming,” said the novelist David Levithan, a vice president and publisher of Scholastic, who became friends with Mr. Vizzini in 2004. “We were always in awe, because he started writing in his teens, and we thought he was going to be writing into his 80s.”
The musical based on “Be More Chill” was still nascent at the time.
The composer-writers Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz read the novel at the recommendation of their agents in 2011, and were immediately intrigued by its theatrical potential. “It felt like a voice I hadn’t seen in a musical before,” Mr. Tracz said.
After they signed on to adapt the story, they spoke by phone with Mr. Vizzini. “It was something that he never envisioned being turned into a musical, and he was excited and intrigued by the idea,” Mr. Tracz said.
They were nearly finished with the first draft — everything but the final song — when they learned that Mr. Vizzini had died.
“He never heard anything from the show, which is the weirdest, saddest thing,” Mr. Iconis said.
They wanted the last song to somehow reflect Mr. Vizzini’s struggle, and to stand apart from the rest of the musical, which consists of synthesizer-heavy, maximalist pop. The final song, “Voices in My Head,” is acoustic, and “feels reflective and a little bit more human,” Mr. Iconis said.
For the Broadway production, they also added a subtle tribute to Ms. Embury. In a pivotal scene, when the hero buys the tiny supercomputer from a dealer at a Payless shoe store, the box holding the device says “SABRAS by Pinkerton.” (“Pinkerton” is the name of a Weezer album that the couple liked.)
Ms. Embury cried when she spotted the reference on opening night.
She still struggles at times to process the contradictory emotions that come with being the guardian of her husband’s growing legacy.
At one point, when describing her surprise and excitement over the novel’s rebirth as a Broadway musical, she slipped into the first person plural.
“There’s no way that we expected this to happen,” she said, then paused to reflect on her pronoun choice. “I’m speaking like I’m speaking for him too.”B:
“【还】【没】【出】【来】！” 【傅】【晨】【看】【着】【余】【澈】【和】【古】【晓】【月】，【语】【气】【有】【点】【凝】【重】。 【古】【晓】【月】【微】【微】【皱】【眉】，【看】【着】【急】【救】【室】【的】【大】【门】，【若】【有】【所】【思】。 【不】【知】【过】【了】【多】【久】，【急】【救】【室】【的】【灯】【终】【于】【灭】【了】，【几】【个】【人】【齐】【齐】【看】【向】【缓】【缓】【打】【开】【的】【大】【门】。 “【医】【生】，【人】【怎】【么】【样】【了】？” “【现】【在】【还】【在】【麻】【醉】【中】，【若】【今】【晚】【度】【过】【危】【险】【期】，【便】【没】【事】【了】！” “【好】，【谢】【谢】！” “【不】
【吕】【小】【驴】【这】【才】【把】【事】【情】【的】【原】【委】【细】【细】【道】【来】。 【原】【来】【这】【家】【伙】【贼】【得】【很】，【他】【也】【没】【说】【答】【应】【阿】【迪】，【只】【说】【先】【考】【虑】【一】【下】。 【阿】【迪】【没】【想】【太】【多】，【就】【把】【老】【吕】【带】【去】【了】**，【感】【受】【一】【下】【正】【规】【军】【和】【他】【们】【草】【台】【班】【子】【的】【区】【别】。 【好】【家】【伙】，【人】【家】【公】【司】【那】【叫】【一】【个】【气】【派】，【好】【大】【一】【层】【办】【公】【楼】，【隔】【断】，【工】【作】【位】，【电】【竞】【椅】【应】【有】【尽】【有】，【弄】【得】【跟】【白】【领】【上】【班】【似】【得】。 【一】【群】【小】【屁】2016年93期开什么码【因】【为】【不】【可】【抗】【力】，【嗯】，【大】【家】【都】【知】【道】，【生】【活】【所】【迫】【吗】，【本】【想】【全】【职】，【但】【是】【没】【办】【法】，【写】【了】【这】【么】【久】，【都】【没】【赚】【钱】，【没】【办】【法】，【只】【好】【去】【搬】【砖】。 【不】【是】【假】【的】【搬】【砖】，【是】【真】【的】【搬】【砖】(【如】【果】【不】【行】，【嗯】，【我】【会】【在】【群】【里】【发】【图】【片】，【大】【家】【就】【知】【道】【是】【不】【是】【真】【的】) 【工】【地】【上】，【只】【要】【做】【过】【的】【人】【就】【知】【道】，【又】【累】【又】【苦】，【工】【资】【不】【高】，【全】【年】【无】【假】，【无】【休】【息】，【经】【常】【加】【班】，【通】【宵】
【漆】【黑】【的】【虚】【空】【中】，【圆】【形】【的】【战】【舰】【内】，【金】【属】【巨】【人】【沉】【默】【的】【望】【着】【肖】【云】【带】【着】【小】【丫】【头】【离】【开】？【有】【些】【遗】【憾】【的】【摇】【头】。 【在】【他】【看】【来】【肖】【云】【虽】【然】【实】【力】【没】【有】【那】【些】【真】【仙】【境】【界】【的】【混】【沌】【魔】【兽】【强】【大】，【可】【是】【那】【些】【混】【沌】【魔】【兽】【是】【一】【群】【没】【有】【智】【慧】【的】【野】【兽】【而】【已】！ 【只】【要】【计】【划】【得】【当】，【还】【是】【很】【有】【机】【会】【能】【够】【从】【那】【群】【混】【沌】【魔】【兽】【手】【里】【得】【到】【混】【元】【紫】【金】【莲】【的】，【可】【是】【这】【个】【家】【伙】【竟】【然】【那】【么】【的】【不】
【新】【书】《【我】【的】【体】【内】【有】【一】【个】【大】【帝】》【已】【在】【十】【月】【十】【日】【开】【始】【连】【载】！ 【新】【书】【简】【介】： 【末】【日】【降】【临】，【灵】【气】【复】【苏】，【江】【辰】【觉】【醒】【了】【玄】【幻】【世】【界】【大】【帝】【的】【记】【忆】。 【火】【焰】【异】【能】、【念】【力】【异】【能】、【操】【控】【金】【属】、【掌】【控】【雷】【霆】、【掌】【控】【风】【暴】、【鹰】【眼】…… 【我】【统】【统】【没】【有】，【我】【只】【有】【一】【柄】【剑】，【能】【斩】【天】【断】【地】，【一】【剑】【光】【寒】【十】【九】【洲】！ 【天】【地】【不】【仁】，【我】【以】【万】【物】【为】【刍】【狗】，【这】【是】【一】【个】
【幕】【歌】【轻】【喝】【一】【声】，【飞】【去】【横】【剑】，【随】【又】【顺】【势】【纵】【身】【而】【起】，【挥】【掌】【向】【虚】【空】【迎】【面】【猛】【击】【过】【去】。【虚】【空】【还】【未】【来】【得】【及】【揣】【度】【她】【意】，【身】【形】【却】【已】【下】【意】【识】【避】【开】。 【幕】【歌】【持】【剑】【立】【于】【两】【人】【之】【间】，【莞】【尔】【笑】【道】：“【慕】【容】【庄】【主】，【好】【久】【不】【见】。” “【辩】【儿】，【还】【不】【快】【出】【来】【拜】【见】【慕】【容】【庄】【主】？” 【萧】【辩】【从】【远】【处】【树】【林】【里】【走】【出】【来】，【抬】【起】【袖】【子】【擦】【了】【擦】【眼】【泪】，【人】【都】【没】【看】【清】，【倒】【先】【是】