Remembering David Rakoff, 1964-2012
Humourist David Rakoff was born in Montreal and moved to Toronto in 1967. After graduating from Forest Hill Collegiate, he majored in East Asian Studies at Columbia University in New York, a city he called "the great love of my life". He worked as a translator in Japan for a time, but returned to Canada after being diagnosed at 22 with Hodgkin's Disease. He later said that he had "dabbled" in cancer. Following treatment for the disease he returned to New York, where he worked in publishing before becoming a writer. He eventually became an American citizen--a process he documented in Don't Get Too Comfortable.
Three collections of his essays were published.
Fraud: Essays with Illustrations from the Author captured the Lambda Award for Humor in 2001. The award was also given to his second collection, Don't Get Too Comfortable. In 2010 while he was completing Half Empty, he was diagnosed with cancer again and began treatment which he discusses in the book. Half Empty was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour and won the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2011.
Doubleday will publish his final book titled Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die; Cherish, Perish in 2013.
Rakoff died of cancer on August 9, 2012 at the age of 47.