David Rakoff has been awarded the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor for his latest collection of essays, Half Empty. Named for humorist and cartoonist James Thurber, the Thurber Prize is the only recognition of the art of humor writing in the United States.
The other finalists for the 2011 prize were Rick Reilly, author of Sports from Hell: My Search for the World’s Dumbest Competition and Mike Birbiglia, author of Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories. Rakoff was awarded the prize at a ceremony at New York City’s Algonquin Hotel on October 3rd. He joins a starry list of previous winners that includes Ian Frazier; Joe Keenan; David Sedaris; and Jon Stewart, Ben Karlin, and David Javerbaum.
Half Empty is available now in paperback. Click to read an excerpt from Half Empty and to listen to an interview with David Rakoff on Julie Klausner’s podcast How Was Your Week?