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ISBN 13: 9781455522552

Mortality

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9781455522552: Mortality

The world's greatest contrarian confronts his own death in this brave and unforgettable book.

During the US book tour for his memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens collapsed in his New York hotel room to excoriating pain in his chest and thorax. As he would later write in the first of a series of deeply moving Vanity Fair pieces, he was being deported 'from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady.' Over the next year he underwent the brutal gamut of modern cancer treatment, enduring catastrophic levels of suffering and eventually losing the ability to speak.

Mortality is the most meditative collection of writing Hitchens has ever produced; at once an unsparingly honest account of the ravages of his disease, an examination of cancer etiquette, and the coda to a lifetime of fierce debate and peerless prose. In this eloquent confrontation with mortality, Hitchens returns a human face to a disease that has become a contemporary cipher of suffering.

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Review:

His unworldly fluency never deserted him, his commitment was passionate, and he never deserted his trade. He was the consummate writer, the brilliant friend. In Walter Pater's famous phrase, he burned 'with this hard gem-like flame.' Right to the end. --Ian McEwan

[Hitchens's] voice remains civilised, searching and ready to vanquish all his enemies. --Colm Tóbín

A trenchant, learned, iconoclastic and splendidly witty commentator on public life and, as here, on his own private triumphs and travails... unremittingly elegant, a master of graceful prose. --John Banville

Characteristic of his elegant wit: philosophical, literary, ironic, sardonic, reflective and resentful. --The Times

Hitchens's account of his climb to extinction is Larkinesque, and not only because his sentences stay in the mind as firmly as good poetry. --Literary Review

Hitchens's traditional strengths - his mastery of irony, his range of reference, his contempt for euphemism - are all in evidence here but there is a timeless, aphoristic quality to these essays that distinguishes them from his writings on politics and literature. --New Statesman

Apart from the obvious sense of denoument, what makes [Hitchens's] last seven essays so potent... is their struggle towards the shattering of illusion... The true struggle of his last writings is to remain himself, deep in the country of the ill, for as long as he can.--Observer

Witty, thoughtful and refreshingly irritable. --Evening Standard

Shocking, intimate and astute, Mortality is a memoir like no other. --Irish Independent

About the Author:

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a columnist for Slate. He was the author of numerous books, including works on Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, George Orwell, Mother Teresa, Henry Kissinger and Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as his international bestseller and National Book Award nominee, god Is Not Great. His memoir, Hitch-22, was nominated for the Orwell Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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