Sunday, September 16, 2012


This is a small book written by the late Christopher Hitchens.  It consists of essays he wrote for Vanity Fair from the time he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in June, 2010 until his death in December, 2011.  When I started this blog, I included three of these essays in my “Interesting Articles/Information” section.  I admired Hitchen’s intellect, though I did not agree with most of what he wrote.  However, his cancer writings were right on the money, in my opinion:  intelligent, cynical and poignant.  Having experienced cancer for two years now, I found many of his observations quite true and his ability to articulate his thoughts very insightful.  If one had read the essays when they were on this blog or in Vanity Fair, one would have seen a decent portion of this small book.  Vanity Fair took them off their website in anticipation of the publication of Mortality, so I deleted them from here too.  Some of his thoughts follow:

“You sometimes feel that you may expire from sheer advice”

“Wellville to Tumortown”

“The citizens of Tumortown are forever assailed with cures and rumors of cures”


“Year of living dyingly”

“Topic of cancer”

“There is no stage 5”

“Lavish torture is the only prelude to a gruesome execution”

I would recommend this book to all cancer survivors. It is quite short though – about 100 pages and some of that is the introduction by Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair and the afterword by Carol Blue, his widow.  Those who have already read some or all of the essays may wish to wait until it comes out in paperback.