Dying of cancer was not a life-changing event for Christopher Hitchens, not utterly.
Certainly the final act was, the in-the-end-sudden switch off, but until then, despite the ignobility of treatment, the actual process leading up to it left him intact.
“He was very much himself, except at times a sad or more diminished version of himself, right — literally — to his last day,” said Carol Blue, his wife, now adapting to life as “the widow.”
Ms. Blue makes the point of Mr. Hitchens’ satisfying existence as a larger-than-life writer, public intellectual, orator, mischievous rogue and husband because of the rather immersive subject of his death, in December, at age 62 — and the grotesque and moving accounts of his journey toward it — in his posthumously released mini-memoir, Mortality.
Mr. Hitchens learned he had advanced esophageal cancer in 2010 in the midst of a tour touting…
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