“In whatever kind of a 'race' life may be,” Christopher Hitchens writes in the new issue of Vanity Fair, “I have very abruptly become a finalist.” The day Hitchens’ new book, Hitch-22 became a bestseller, he was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. It had metastasized. The author says the “battle” metaphor is one he embraces, even though “while the venom sack [chemotherapy] gradually empties itself into your system, the image of the ardent soldier or revolutionary is the very last one that will occur to you.” Hitchens discusses losing his hair, even on his upper lip, giving him the appearance of a waxed old lady. The controversial writer is a very public critic of religion, but he is encouraged by “an astonishing number of prayer groups” pulling for his survival.
COPING Shannon Stapleton / Reuters