On June 8, 2010, while on a book tour for his bestselling memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens was stricken in his New York hotel room with excruciating pain in his chest and thorax. As he would later write in the first of a series of award-winning columns for Vanity Fair, he suddenly found himself being deported "from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady." Over the next eighteen months, until his death in Houston on December 15, 2011, he wrote constantly and brilliantly on politics and culture, astonishing readers with his capacity for superior work even in extremis.==========================
While battling esophageal cancer, Hitchens adamantly refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open. He describes the torments of illness, discusses its taboos, and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us. Personal and philosophical, Hitchens embraces the full range of human emotions as cancer invades his body and compels him to grapple with the enigma of death.
Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. Click this link for other book beginnings.