David Rakoff was a legend in the realm of public radio. Often heard on This American Life and with several memorable appearances on Fresh Air, his voice was well known and loved by readers and listeners. He was a fabulous writer with a flair for descriptive language and describing the odd situations of life, traveling, and cancer. Rakoff died in August of 2012 after his cancer returned, nearly two decades after he went into remission the first time. The Uncollected David Rakoff collects his works not found in other collections such as Fraud and Don’t Get Too Comfortable. With the loss of Rakoff, this collection marks one final chance to read a new collection and say goodbye.
Rakoff had a unique voice that is almost impossible to replicate. Many of the works in The Uncollected David Rakoff focus on fear of illness and the difficulties in his life from his first bout of cancer. He discusses the fear of being a gay man in the 80’s and 90’s when AIDS ran rampant. However, not all the articles are on difficult topics. Some involve travels with celebrities, the beauty of natural landscapes and a traveling lifestyle. Whatever Rakoff writes causes the reader to stop and just fall into the moment. Even a busy mind like mine that struggles to focus falls into a type of calm reading his words.
Rakoff was funny and insightful. His loss several years ago was a great loss to writing. Thankfully, The Uncollected David Rakoff is a worthy send off to a beautiful mind.
The Uncollected David Rakoff is available now from Knopf Doubleday Publishing.