Christopher Hitchens


Hitch-22: A Memoir was, as can be assumed from the title, the memoirs of Christopher Hitchens. It was actually during the book tour for this very novel that Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and had to cancel the remainder of his book tour in response to the diagnosis. The novel itself goes into some of Hitchens more personal stories and events throughout his life, spanning from his time at Oxford to events just before his death. A new foreword was placed into the novel in 2011 that was written by Hitchens to describe what his life had been like since receiving the cancer diagnosis. Many critics viewed the stories contained within to be particularly revelatory in nature about Hitchens and everything that went on around him. For instance, Hitchens writes that fellow Oxford student Bill Clinton's method of taking marijuana was by brownies and cookies, which is a direct counterargument against the fact that Clinton reported that he had never inhaled marijuana smoke because of his allergy of smoke.

He also writes a small amount about his sexual encounters with two men during his college years, of which, he states, both received positions in Margaret Thatcher's government as conservative MPs. In general, Hitchens found this to be one of the more difficult novels he was tasked with writing, saying "I found it fantastically difficult. Normally, when I'm writing, I'm making an argument, making a case. Also, when I'm writing, I'm trying to see how much I can pack into 5,000 words about a subject. But here's a subject I know too much about." It's interesting to know that, before editors looked at the book and cut it down to the size it was eventually published at with well over 400 pages, the book was actually around twice as long.