Writer David Rakoff died Thursday at the age of 47. His humorous essays examined a wide range of subjects, from his annoyance at first-world problems to undertaking a 21-day fast to his own bout with cancer. His most recent essay collection, Half Empty, won the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor. He was a frequent contributor to This American Life, and the author of the essay collections Don’t Get Too Comfortableand Fraud. He responded to our Guest Picks question “What’s one thing you are a fan of that people might not expect?” with “As someone often seen as hating everything and being immune to pleasure, which isn’t true, I love everything (except sports). I’m just scared of it.” He was on the Leonard Lopate Show a number of times, and was always a generous guest. You can listen to those interviews below.
David Rakoff discussing Half Empty, October 11, 2010.
David Rakoff with Ruth Reichl and Jane Smiley, discussing food and creativity, July 11, 2006.
David Rakoff on Don't Get Too Comfortable, September 20, 2005.
Next week This American Life will dedicate the show to David Rakoff, playing favorite stories he did for the show.
Associate Producer, The Leonard Lopate Show
Julia Corcoran joined the show as an intern in spring 2007 after listening to the show for many years, and joined the staff full-time in February 2009. She produces the Please Explain series, the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club, and other segments on topics ranging from root vegetables to politics and the economy to the musical stylings of Weird Al Yankovic. She has reported and produced radio features for WAMC Northeast Public Radio in Albany and for WSHU Public Radio in Connecticut. Julia studied literature and art at the University of New Mexico, and has an M.S. from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys escaping the city to climb up and ski down mountains.