If you don’t know who David Rakoff is, you’re the worse for it. Hilarious, intelligent, insightful and proudly Canadian. Writer, actor, dancer and Christmas Freud. Like most white people my age, I discovered him on This American Life. I was drawn to his lulling speaking voice, self-deprecating sense of humor and relative indifference to his status as a cancer patient. He died earlier today and I’m sad. Go read all his stuff.


An interview with the humorist and essayist about his book, Half Empty, his Academy Award-winning short film, and his recurrence of cancer:

GROSS: You were diagnosed with cancer in your 20s. Now you’re in your 40s and have a cancer diagnosis again. Are you dealing with it emotionally differently now in your 40s than you did in your 20s?

Mr. RAKOFF: Yes, I think I am. I think - well, first of all, the cancer that I had in my 20s was, I even referred to it as the dilettante cancer. You know, it was Hodgkin’s lymphoma, eminently curable and just a whole different ballgame from what I’ve got now.

And I was a little less interested in knowing about the cancer back then in my 20s. I was sort of like, well, do whatever you need to do. I’m just going to sit here and lie back and think of England.

“David Rakoff’s ‘Half Empty’ Worldview Is Full Of Wit.” — Terry Gross and David Rakoff, 2010, Fresh Air

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    If you don’t know who David Rakoff is, you’re the worse for it. Hilarious, intelligent, insightful and proudly Canadian....
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    So sad…i really enjoy his writing. I still remember picking up his book from the Barnes and Nobles across from Lincoln...
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    Rakoff’s story on This American Life about his mother dying always hits me right in the feels. Hard. How wonderful that...
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