David Rakoff

Wherever he is, writer David Rakoff is a fish out of water. Whether climbing an icy mountain in cheap loafers, contrasting the elegance of one of the last flights of the supersonic Concorde with the good times and chicken wings of Hooters Air, playing an evil modeling agent on a daytime soap opera, or working as a pool boy at a South Beach hotel, Rakoff continually finds himself off in the far-flung hinterlands of our culture, notebook or microphone in hand, hoping to conjure that dyed-in-the-wool New York condescension.

And Rakoff tries to be nasty; heaven knows nothing succeeds like the cheap sneer, but he can't quite help noticing that these are actual human beings he's writing about. In his attempts not to pull any punches, the most damaging blows, more often than not, land squarely on his own jaw-hilariously satirizing the writer, not the subject. And therein lies David Rakoff's genius and his appeal. The wry and the heartfelt join in his prose to resurrect that most-neglected of literary virtues: wit.  

Fraud established Rakoff as one of today's funniest, most insightful writers. In his book, Don’t Get Too Comfortable (Doubleday, September 2005), Rakoff moves from the personal to the public, journeying into the land of plenty that is contemporary America. Rarely have greed, vanity, selfishness, and vapidity been so mercilessly and wittily portrayed.

A regular contributor to Public Radio International's This American Life, David Rakoff is also a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine, a correspondent for Outside, and Writer-at-Large for GQ. His writing has also appeared in Vogue, Salon, Seed, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Observer, and Wired, among others.