Christopher Hitchens has suspended the book tour in support of his bestselling memoir “Hitch-22” after receiving a diagnosis of cancer. According to a brief statement by Hitchens released today by his publisher, Twelve, Hitchens says he has received medical advice to undergo a course of chemotherapy on his esophagus. “This advice seems persuasive to me.”
The suspension of the tour was first announced yesterday, though at the time Hitchens’ publisher stated only that Hitchens was unable to travel for “personal reasons.”
There’s a strong linkage between esophageal cancer and smoking and alcohol consumption, according to the National Cancer Institute. Though Hitchens’ statement doesn’t identify any cause, various blogs have already jumped on that linkage, pointing out how the well-known television commentator, author and Vanity Fair contributor is as well-known for the trademark drink and cigarette in his hand as for his provocative views.
A Washington Post profile earlier this month mentions that Hitchens tried to kick smoking a few years ago, only to return to it under the pressures of completing his memoir. In a recent review of “Hitch-22” for the Los Angeles Times, Douglas Brinkley described the book as an engaging, entertaining mixture of nostalgia, polemic and literary reevaluation by a “rapscallion iconoclast.”
One wishes Hitchens well with his treatment — and that it won’t interfere too drastically with his singular voice.
— Nick Owchar