WHO IS THIS IDIOT NED VIZZINI?

[hear the deal from the esteemed John Strausbaugh]












 

 
 

The Ministry of Propaganda is Ill

 

Ned's Forthcoming Book

Book Ned at Your School Book Ned at Your School (.pdf format)
Excerpts from Teen Angst? Naaah... (.pdf format) Interview Questions
older interview questions (.pdf format)

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ashley Caro
acaro@randomhouse.com
(212) 782-8667

 

"Fiercely intelligent and introspective . . . Vizzinis wonderfully sardonic voice suggests a wisdom beyond his years." School Library Journal

 

A funny, witty and completely realistic portrait of the teenage years, TEEN ANGST? NAAAHA QUASI-AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Dell Laurel-Leaf / on sale August 13, 2002 / $5.50) by author Ned Vizzini is now available as a mass-market paperback. A Book Sense 76 selection, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, a Teen People Book of the Month Club selection, and currently in a first-look deal with Miramax Films, TEEN ANGST is the ultimate guide to surviving high school.

A writer with talent well beyond his years, Ned began writing for New York Press at the age of fifteen. At seventeen, he was asked to write a piece for The New York Times Magazine and at nineteen, TEEN ANGST? NAAAH was published. A Holden Caulfield for Generation Y, Ned Vizzini is described as being a little on the quiet side, smart and not too suave with girls. In TEEN ANGST, he relates all of the great, hilarious and sometimes mortifying experiences that made up his teenage years. "The events in these stories are real. Some names have been changed so I dont get yelled at." From getting into Stuyvesant High School, to making friends, to first drinks, first dates and first discussions of sex, Ned reveals what attending high school in New York City is really like. Ned Vizzini currently lives in Brooklyn and attends classes at Hunter College while working on his second book. Vizzini is an author to watch.

 

TEEN ANGST? NAAAH
A QUASI-AUTOBIOGRAPHY
By Ned Vizzini
A Dell Laurel-Leaf paperback / on sale August 13, 2002
0-440-23767-X / 288 pages / $5.50 / $7.99 Can. / 12 up

 

Dell Laurel-Leaf is an imprint of the Random House Childrens Books division of Random House, Inc., whose parent company is Bertelsmann AG. Visit us on the web at www.randomhouse.com/teens.




Praise for
Teen Angst? Naaah...

"At 21, Ned Vizzini has already published his first book, TEEN ANGST? NAAAH, watched it become a cult hit and signed a deal to turn it into a film or TV series. Next stop: Stardom?"
Teen People

"Everybody is jumping on the Harry Potter fantasy bandwagon," Startz [of Jane Startz Productions] said. "This book is about the real pains of growing up and the anxieties of being a regular kid."
Variety

"The real-life stories of a regular guy who suffers through junior high and high school just like we all doexcept Vizzini was smart enough to write down his miseries."
Jump Magazine

  "Looking for a sane outlet for his frustration and confusion, Ned took to writing his experiences down in an effort to cope. The result of that endeavor is a candid and interesting look at the life of one teen, warts and all (minus a vulgarity or two). You won't want to put this book down, even when you've finished reading the last page."
About.com




About Ned Vizzini

  1. When did you begin writing?

    Well, if you dont count my 2nd grade opus The Poor Old Wizard, I started writing at 15 when I got my first story published in New York Press.

  2. Who do you see as the audience for your book?

    When I wrote the stories, I was writing them for New York hipsters (with curses), but when I compiled them for Teen Angst? Naaah I got off my high horse and shaped them for the audience they really wanted: teenagers (no curses). I was a teenager when I wrote them and we all write for ourselves to some degree, so that was a natural and necessary transition. Now Im really happy that I did it because one bit of praise from a 13-year-old is worth about 15 snarky hipster handshakes. Of course, adults (hipster or not) are welcome to rock along with Teen Angst if they choose to. I guarantee itll take them about four hours to read.

  3. How do you manage your time between school, writing and playing in your band?

    It is surprising to a lot of people that I go to college for computer science and play bass in a band called the NEW MEXIKANS that gigs regularly at CBGB. I guess I like having my brain stretched in various ways. Computer science, which everyone thinks is irredeemably nerdy and artless, is actually a lot like writing, just for a computer. All of the same principles of tightness and editing remain. (I also have managed to cram some computer science into my next book.) Playing music is something that just makes me instantly happy every time I do it, so why should I stop? I manage my time with a datebook, an ever-present list of things to do and many a meal on the subway.

  4. Teen Angst might now be turned into a TV series. How will you feel having your stories acted on national television?

    I have viewed my family as part-sitcom since I was about seven years old, so I think its only right that they get some screen time. The stories in the book are short and funny and full of slapstick so theyre tailor-made for TV treatment. Im excited, obviously. I really want to do Seinfeld with teenagerssomething smart and funny and fast and character-driven.

  5. Being a teen author you have been grouped with such young writers as Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Jay Liebowitz and Nick McDonell. How do you feel that your work differs from that of your peers?

    First of all, its a great thing that so many generation Y kids are writing because we sure have a karmic debt to make up (Britney Spears, The Strokes, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, etc.). My writing differs from the bold-face names above because it isnt in-your-face bold-face; those people write about demons and murderI write about the challenges posed by sliding doors in Mini-Mart beer fridges. They write about drugsI write about snot. I had an adolescence that was twisted and funny, but also oddly typical. Thats why my stories connect so easily with the nerds, the artists, the jocks, the adults, all the types. Also, it cant be overlooked that Teen Angst? Naaah is really really well-writtenlike, better than David Sedaris and David Eggers books. I think.

  6. What are you working on now?

    The highest-grossing movie of all time. No, seriously (Michael Crichton said that about Jurassic Park), its bizarre fiction set in high school and when you read it youll wonder why you didnt think of it.




    Teen Angst? Naaah . . .
    A Quasi-Autobiography
    by Ned Vizzini

    Brooklyn Teen Ned Vizzini Offers a Smart, Funny, and Refreshingly Honest Look at the Joys and Horrors of Modern Teenage Life

    A "Book Sense 76" selection

    A Teen People Book of the Month Club featured selection

    "Fiercely intelligent and introspective.... Vizzini's wonderfully sardonic voice suggests a wisdom beyond his years. . . . This surefire title is bright, insightful, and thoroughly charming."
    --School Library Journal

    "Teen Angst? Naaah . . . is not just about a boy entering manhood, but about a boy entering humanity. Don't read Ned Vizzini because he's a young writer. Read Vizzini because he's an outstanding writer. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for one of the few truly, genuinely funny and unpretentious books I have read in many years."
    --Esm Raji Codell, author of Educating Esm: Diary of a Teachers First Year

    "How could a kid this young be this talented? He writes with a clarity, an honesty, and an unpretentious sense of the absurd that most writers would kill for. The really amazing thing is that beyond the remarkable skill, and beyond his obvious smarts, Ned always remains, to the core, real."
    --Jim Knipfel, author of Quitting the Nairobi Trio and Slackjaw

    "This kid can write! Teen Angst? Is zany, tender, and hysterically funny."
    --Jonathan Ames, author of Whats Not to Love and The Extra Man

    "An exceptional debut from a young, smart, and talented writer who is, despite that generally deadly combination, a really nice guy."
    --Sam Sifton, Talk Magazine

    "I thought Teen Angst? was hilarious and totally true. I started reading it and couldn't put it down."
    --Jonathan Wigdortz, 8th grade

    "I couldnt put it down! I laughed a lot and enjoyed Teen Angst? immensely. I can relate . . ."
    --Maura "Maddy" Nevel, 18, South Bend, Indiana

    "Im not even particularly fond of kids--more of a dog person--so the fact that I read Teen Angst? is shocking enough. The idea that I enjoyed it and want to share it with other people is a testament to Vizzinis honesty, humor, insight, and ability to write in such a way that crosses age, gender, and any other gaps that are out there. Prepare to laugh, reflect, and reminiscence about your own teen years."
    --Julie Smith, independent bookseller, Aunties Bookstore, Spokane, Washington




    Teen Angst? Naaah . . .
    A Quasi-Autobiography
    by Ned Vizzini

    Minneapolis, MinnesotaNed Vizzinis Teen Angst? Naaah . . . A Quasi-Autobiography ($12.95, Free Spirit Publishing) is a fresh, witty, and wildly entertaining account of the teen years of self-proclaimed "nerd" from Brooklyn. Ned started writing seriously at age 14 and by age 15, as a freshman at New York's public Stuyvesant High School, his essays began appearing in the free weekly New York Press. At 17, he had a piece published in The New York Times Magazine. Hes 19 now, and this is his first book.

    Like most young people, Ned Vizzini is slouching his way toward cool in a one-step-forward, two-steps-back kind of way. (Its an evolutionary thing.) In this marvelous collection of essays, he leads us on a hilarious ride through '90s adolescence. Starting in junior high ("after youve shed the pathetic dreams of childhood but before the hormones kick in") and continuing through high school ("Id have to run through the halls naked for any senior to acknowledge my presence"), he shares his impressions of school, sports, camp, church, cool people, boring people, friends, fame, parents, siblings, alternative rock, video games, beer, part-time jobs, the subwayand girls. A Holden Caulfield from the generation raised on Nintendo, Magic cards, and The Simpsons, Ned Vizzini manages to convey, with both charm and no-holds-barred frankness, what its really like to be a teen. In fact, just a quick perusal of the books index provides a great snapshot (from AC/DC to Yale).

    Teen Angst? is a fun read for adults wondering what today's teens are all about (theyll probably be surprised at how familiar it all seems). And for teens who need reassurance that theyre not alone and not crazy, reading Teen Angst? is like hanging with that one friend who can always crack you up. Says Ned, "I want my readers to think about their own adolescence and realize that it isnt all flashy sex, but it isnt all manic depression either. Its a time to look at the adult world, realize its a whacked-out place, and then enter it anyway. I want people to get the sense from the book that their adolescence, which seems boring and commonplace, is actually pretty wonderful upon closer examination."

    In the spirit of David Sedaris and for those readers (and their parents) whove looked at the sea of recent books and wondered "where the boys are," Teen Angst?s Ned Vizzini is an original voice to be reckoned with, read, and enjoyed.

    Review copies of Teen Angst? Naaah...,
    excerpts and interviews are all available through Free Spirit Publishing.
    Contact Amy Dillahunt, 612-338-2068.

    # # # #
    Teen Angst? Naaah . . .

    A Quasi-Autobiography
    by Ned Vizzini
    ISBN 1-57542-084-8 * $12.95 * Softcover * 240 pp. * Illust. * 6" x 8"

    About Free Spirit Publishing (www.freespirit.com)

    Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Free Spirit Publishing Inc. is an award-winning publisher specializing in Self-Help For Kids and Self-Help For Teens--including nonfiction materials for children and teens, parents, and teachers that inform and inspire. Free Spirit books have been honored by the American Library Association, The National Parenting Center, Parents' Council, and Parents' Choice, and are available at independent and chain bookstores and online booksellers through major trade wholesalers--or directly from Free Spirit. For a catalog, call 612-338-2068 or visit our Web site.

     




    Excerpted from Teen Angst? Naaah . . .

    TEEN AUTHOR NED VIZZINI

    On Childhood 
    "Childhood sucks. Im young enough to remember that. Starting in first grade, there's pressure from all sides: to be smart, to make friends, to get teachers to like you. Kids develop different ways of coping with that pressure. Some find solace in books. Some play-act or play large and expensive musical instruments. Some watch TV or sit and stare. I coped with childhood by playing Nintendo."

    On Family Vacations
    "My family takes cheap vacations. Any trip that involves an airplane, we avoidtoo much money. Any trip that involves a resort we shuntoo many people. Disney World, Busch Gardens, camping, Europe? Wed never consider them. What we do for vacations is pile into our van and drive to weird
    East Coast destinations, like Binghamton, New York, birthplace of The Twilight Zone creator, Rod Serling."

    On Magic: The Gathering
    "Magic shaped up to be my adolescent pastime, the way video games were my childhood sport. My mind slipped into thinking about Magic like hands under a pillow. See, at the cusp of puberty, I had to make a choice: Magic or girls. And, well, Magic was right there. You know?"

    On Summer Camp
    "First off, its a Darwinian popularity contest. At all times, the question on everyones mind is Whos the coolest? People complain about high school cliques but cliques at camp form more quickly and are twice as vicious. The easiest and most preferable way to be cool at camp (and everywhere, I guess) is to get with a member of the opposite sex. Even the dorky, buck-toothed guys become instantly popular when they land a fifteen-year-old girl. This is where my problems start."

    On Dances
    "I cant describe how much I hate dances. Ever since fifth grade, when that girl Rebecca told me I danced like a cricket, Ive been a professional wallflower. I like it, in a perverse way. Standing by the wall, surrounded by other nerdy nondancers, a sort of camaraderie forms. Its safe there, much safer than on the floor."

    On College
    "Colleges want a lot these days. They dont just want you to be a good student. They want you to be angular. Thats a real term; I read about it in The Wall Street Journal."

    On Love
    "I wanted a girlfriend all through high school, and when I finally got one, it was confusing and weird and stressful. But it also lived up to the hype, and thats rare. Pot didnt live up to its hype. Cigarettes didnt. Drinking didnt. The girl did."

    Review copies of Teen Angst? Naaah...,
    excerpts and interviews are all available through Free Spirit Publishing.
    Contact Amy Dillahunt, 612-338-2068.

     



    An Interview with NED VIZZINI
    author of Teen Angst? Naaah . . .


    How does it feel to be 19, with your first book published?
    Its not that big a deal. It was a big deal when I was 15 and I got my first essays published in New York Pressthats when I went through all the standard emotions. Now Im just riding this as far as itll take me. I feel relieved and pretty cool.


    Who do you see as the audience for your book?
    Teens are my primary audiencethats who I am, thats who the writing connects with more than anyone else. But the essays were originally printed in New York Press, which appealed to urban hipsters, and Ive found that (gasp) Baby Boomers like the book, too. So the potential audience is wide-ranging.


    How would you describe the book?
    Being a teenager isnt what you see on Popular, and it isnt the doom and gloom war zone you hear about on the news. For most of us, its somewhere in the middle. This is a book about teen life in the middleand life in the middle is actually pretty weird and funny. Ive already heard from some kids around the country whove read Teen Angst? and liked it. Thats pretty cool. Of course, I also see it as a book a Mom buys for her teenage son to "help him get through the changes hes experiencing," which he finds himself reading anyway, despite her endorsement.


    Do you think youre a pretty average kid?
    Yeah. When I think something, a thousand other people are thinking it, too.


    What is the biggest misconception adults have about teenagers?
    Adults get so scared by the delinquents on talk shows and the local news that when we hit 15, they write us off as unhelpable, feral youth. They need to be less suspicious.


    What are you writing these days?
    I'm trying hard not to write about myself. There are a million 20-somethings writing confessional essays, and I dont need to join that club. That means Im working on journalistic-type stuff and a novel. I go back and forth.




    The index in Teen Angst? Naaah . . . provides an A-to-Z snapshot of all
    things teen.

    A
    AC/DC, 26­-28, 227
    Aeneas the homeless punk, 105-­106
    After-prom party, 207, 215­-219
    Alcohol. See Drinking
    Alex, 185, 189, 190, 194
    Angular student, 172
    Army man at flea market, 95
    Army of Clones, 52­-53
    Artist clique, 40
    Attack of the Killer Turtle, 76­-82

    B
    Backpack, dorky, 1-­2, 3, 36, 46, 47, 90
    "The Bagel Man" story, 56
    Bargaining, 92­-95
    Beavis and Butt-head, 23-­24, 102, 124
    Beer. See Drinking
    Behar, Joy, 145-­146
    Birthdays, 8, 183, 188, 198
    Books, 3, 16, 37, 46, 101
    Boredom, 11, 118
    Brooklyn, 6, 14, 30
    Brooklyn Cable Access Television (BCAT), 77
    Brooklyn Tech, 14, 227

    C

    Cable access TV, 76-­82
    Calculator in pocket, 169, 189­-190
    Cancun trip, 183­-198
    Carlo the housepainter, 150­-159
    Chase Corporate Challenge run, 109­-116
    Christmas gifts, 92­-95
    Church, 67, 179, 189
    Cigarette smoking, 49, 71-­72, 201
    Clinton, Bill, 162
    Cliques, 36, 39­-40, 68-­69
    Clothes
       fighting with Judith, 204­-205
       gi, karate uniform, 84­85
       housepainting, 154, 157
       shoes, 109­-116
       trench coats, 78
       tuxedo for prom, 203, 207-­210, 224
       for The View, 141
       wrong, 58
    Clubs, bands and dance, 63, 65, 215­-218
    Cobain, Kurt, 18
    College, 44, 156­-157, 174­-182
    Comic book publishing, 173

    and so on...