10 of the Funniest Essayists of Our Time

The witty social commentator David Rakoff will be missed—both by his readers and by his frank, funny contemporaries.

DavidRakoff_01_credit_Donald_Denton.jpg
David Rakoff

Like many of you, this week we were saddened to hear of the death of phenomenal and darkly comic essayist David Rakoff, who had been battling cancer for many years. To celebrate his life and the great literature he left us with, we've put together a list of some of the funniest modern essayists who, like Rakoff, are following in the giant footsteps of Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, and James Thurber as America's great humorists. We've tried to limit ourselves to purely contemporary writers, but since we've lost several hilarious and essential voices all too recently, we've cheated just a bit.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

Emily Temple is an editor at Flavorpill.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Entertainment

Just In