Five long years after Don't Get Too Comfortable (nine years since Fraud!), David Rakoff is releasing his new book today. According to the bestselling gay Canadian Jewish New Yorker, Half Empty promises to be "a defense of melancholy, pessimism, anxiety and all of the emotions that have been tarred with the brush of negativity and therefore stricken from the larger cultural conversation. I hope to argue...that, while these emotions may well be hedonically less pleasant, they remain necessary and even beautiful at times." It's a tribute to his sense of humor that he's continued to write about the comedy of pessimism while undergoing chemo for cancer. The cancer is a result of earlier radiation treatments when he had lymphoma in his 20s. Now he may lose his arm. As he says, " There's a lot of stuff you can do with one arm — like continue living." And continue writing for GQ and continue broadcasting on PRI's This American Life.
And continue touring. Rakoff appears tonight at B&N Union Square, tomorrow night in Baltimore, and the following night in DC. After that, he reads in Columbus, Chicago, St. Paul, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, New York, Brooklyn, Boston, and New York. Details here.