Humorous writer David Rakoff has passed away. He was 47 years old.
He wrote three books: Don’t Get Too Comfortable, Fraud and the Thurber Prize-winning essay collection, Half Empty. He was also a frequent contributor on This American Life, and you can listen to all his past episodes at this link.
Here’s an excerpt from an essay he wrote about his first glimpse of Times Square in college, a perfect mix of writing and humor: “The colossus towering over this particular moment shuddering between decadence and recovery was not Bartholdi’s Lady Liberty but the first of Calvin Klein’s bronzed gods, high above Times Square. Leaning back, eyes closed, in his blinding white underpants against a sinuous form in similarly white Aegean plaster, his gargantuan, sleeping, groinful beauty was simultaneously Olympian and intimate, awesome and comforting. Here was the city in briefs: uncaring, cruelly beautiful, and out of reach.” (Photo via Don Denton)
UPDATE: Publishers Marketplace news editor Sarah Weinman reports that Rakoff will leave behind one more book: “Shortly before Rakoff’s death he delivered a novel entitled Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die; Cherish, Perish, which Doubleday will pub in 2013.”