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The Mark Twain Lecture Series on American Humor and Culture Presents David Rakoff

Humorist, Essayist, Author and Contributor to Public Radio’s “This American Life”
March 23, 2012
Press Release #12-044


David Rakoff's New York Times bestsellers, “Fraud” and “Don't Get Too Comfortable,” have caused him to be hailed by critics as one of today's funniest, most insightful writers. On Friday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics and Recreation Center at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, David Rakoff will discuss, with his trademark incisive wit, defensive pessimism and his new award-winning book, “Half Empty.”

Winner of the Thurber Prize for Humor (for “Half Empty”), David Rakoff has also been short-listed for the Whiting Award as well as the Stephen Leacock Medal. He is a two-time recipient of the Lambda Book Award for Humor and a charter member and regular contributor to Public Radio International's “This American Life.” His writing has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine and numerous collections, including “The Best American Travel Writing,” “The Best American Non-Required Reading,” and “Outside 25: The Best of Outside Magazine’s 25 Years.” He contributed to the forthcoming, “The Fifty Funniest American Writers” from Library of America.

David Rakoff has worked in theater with David and Amy Sedaris on their plays “Stitches,” “The Little Freida Mysteries,” “The Book of Liz,” and the OBIE award-winning “One Woman Shoe.” He adapted the screenplay and starred in “The New Tenants,” which won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

Canadian-born, Rakoff grew up in Toronto. He went to Columbia University and graduated in 1986 with a degree in East Asian Studies. He remained in New York City, working in the publishing industry and as a freelance writer. In 2003, he became a U.S. citizen, while retaining his Canadian citizenship.