Friday, December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens, writer and Vanity Fair contributor, dies at 62

Hitchens, who had been battling esophageal cancer since early 2010, died at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, surrounded by friends, Vanity Fair said.
"There will never be another like Christopher," Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter said in a statement. "A man of ferocious intellect, who was as vibrant on the page as he was at the bar. Those who read him felt they knew him, and those who knew him were profoundly fortunate souls."
The brash, combative and provocative Hitchens was an "incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant," Vanity Fair's Juli Weiner wrote in one of what will assuredly be many testimonials and appreciations to come.
His own memoir, "Hitch-22," was published shortly before his diagnosis, forcing him to cancel a book tour.
"I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus," Hitchens wrote then. "This advice seems persuasive to me. I regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice."
Yet he continued to write about his fight with cancer--among other weighty topics--in the months that followed.
"Cancer victimhood contains a permanent temptation to be self-centered and even solipsistic," he wrote in Vanity Fair last year.
In June 2011, he observed: "My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends."
Hitchens is survived by his wife, Carol Blue, their daughter, Antonia, and two children from a previous marriage, Alexander and Sophia.
We'll post selections of remembrances from some of those friends, and obituaries, below. Check back here for updates.

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