This morning I learned of the passing of someone I deeply admired, David Rackoff. Just the other week, on this blog, I shared how much I was enjoying the essays in his most recent, and now final, book Half Empty. I first heard of him on NPR’s, This American Life, one of my favorite radio shows. He was darkly humorous and witty, I laughed so hard I cried. I loved his regular contributions to the show. You can explore the full scope of his brilliance on This American Life at: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/contributors/david-rakoff. Or you can listen to a great remembrance of him here: http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/.
I never met Rackoff, or maybe I did in the ambiguous way that every New Yorker has shared a subway car, walked down the block a few paces away from, or sat in a dinner booth with views of some famous person. He has influenced my life and my writing all the same, just as any good writer or storyteller should. Through their words we are transported to different places, we view things from new angles, and we delve into ourselves a little more deeply. The more I write the more deeply I delve into writers that resonate with me or make me laugh. Rackoff’s wit, cynicism, and deeply human way of sharing his life stories and viewpoints resonate with me, making me want to be a better writer and human. I guess I should have written that fan letter to him sooner.