paper trail

Aug 10, 2012 @ 7:55:00 pm

Award-winning humorist and essayist David Rakoff died at his home in Manhattan last night after an extended battle with cancer, it was reported on Friday. He was forty-seven. Rakoff was a longtime contributor to This American Life, The New York Times, and GQ, and was author of the collections Don’t Get Too Comfortable, Fraud, and most recently, Half Empty. He was renowned for his intelligence, dark humor, and celebration of negative thinking—qualities that were recognized last fall when he was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor. After years working as a translator and publisher, Rakoff caught his break when he showed his work to David Sedaris, who has described Rakoff’s writing as "truly witty, almost in a lost, old-fashioned way." According to his publisher, Rakoff recently turned in his final book, a novel written in verse called Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die; Cherish, Perish that is slated to be published this fall. In the meantime, here are links to videos of Rakoff (including a Daily Show appearance in which he discussed his cancer) and an archive of all his radio stories for This American Life. The show is planning to dedicate a special episode to Rakoff, which will air next week.