Vizzini brought shadowy subject into the light
That's the day the author committed suicide, after producing works of fiction that featured struggles with MENTAL ILLNESS.
"It's Kind of a Funny Story" is a first-person account of those struggles, told by New York teenager Craig Gilner.
Gilner's matter-of-fact account of depression are memorable:
"Some days I woke up and got out of bed and brushed my teeth like any normal human being; some days I woke up and lay in bed and looked at the ceiling and wondered what the hell the point was of getting out of bed and brushing my teeth like any normal human being."
Most people have someone in their lives who have dealt with mental illness. It's a subject veiled by stigma, however, so it's an illness that usually festers in the shadows.
Vizzini's great achievement was bringing the subject into the light of the modern young adult novel -- hopefully, the awareness he raised prevented others from following his suicidal lead.