Eyes wide open
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Dying is serious business and writers, like all other people, die too. Some live long enough to write about their experience of ‘living dying-ly’ as Christopher Hitchens does here in his last book Mortality before he succumbed to esophageal cancer in 2011. In terms of categories, to find this book you need to look under ‘memoir/essays’ >> ‘sickness’ >> ‘cancer’ and it’s still a crowded space - this genre of ‘cancer-lit’. Among the Susan Sontags, Gilda Radners, John Diamonds and Katherine Russell-Richs is a new addition to this sub-sub-genre. What separates this book from the rest? the unique, out-sized, and outspoken personality of provocateur extraordinaire - Christopher Hitchens.

In the introduction Graydon Carter writes:
For the fact is that Christopher was one of life's singular characters - a wit, a charmer, a troublemaker, and a dear and devoted friend. He was a man of insatiable appetites- for cigarettes, for scotch, for company, for great writing, and above all, for conversation.
What Carter missed out was Hitch’s appetite not just for debate, but for controversy. The targets of Hitchens’s pugnacious pen have ranged from the Dalai Lama to Mother Teresa to the Clintons to Henry Kissinger. Less famously - women (for their lack of humour), the British royal family (they are just a British fetish), Philip Larkin (for his racism). Whether you agree with his interpretations or not, Hitchens makes trenchant and accurate observations and always, always entertains with his acerbic humour. He was a formidable debating opponent in word and in print who could artfully turn a word or a phrase and maul his opponents with weapons of their own making.

More on (http://fromhelicon.blogspot.com/2012/11/mortality-christopher-hitchens.html)