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Mortality

Courageous, insightful and candid thoughts on malady and mortality from one of our most celebrated writers -- and now available as a trade paperback.
     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.
     Throughout the course of his ordeal battling esophageal cancer, Hitchens adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open. In this riveting account of his affliction, Hitchens poignantly describes the torments of illness, discusses its taboos, and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us. By turns personal and philosophical, Hitchens embraces the full panoply of human emotions as cancer invades his body and compels him to grapple with the enigma of death.
     Crisp and vivid, veined throughout with penetrating intelligence, Mortality is Hitchens's testament; a courageous and lucid work of literature, an affirmation of the dignity and worth of man.

Praise for Mortality

 • "Like virtually everything [Hitchens] wrote over his long, distinguished career, diamond-hard and brilliant . . . vivid, heart-wrenching and haunting - messages in a bottle tossed from the deck of a sinking ship as its captain, reeling in agony and fighting through the fog of morphine, struggles to keep his engines going . . . " -- New York Times Book Review
 • "Stark and powerful . . . Hitchens's powerful voice compels us to consider carefully the small measures by which we live every day and to cherish them." -- Publisher's Weekly (starred)