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Unsolicited Advice Abounds In 'Tumortown,' Christopher Hitchens Writes

In June, Christopher Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Christian Witkin hide caption

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Christian Witkin

In June, Christopher Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

Christian Witkin

In the newest Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens gives a tour of Tumortown, a place where "you sometimes feel that you may expire from shear advice."

Since he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer this summer, Hitchens has written a series of essays on the subject — for Vanity Fair and Slate.

What recommendations has he received so far?

I must, without delay, begin ingesting the granulated essence of the peach pit (or is it the apricot?), a sovereign remedy known to ancient civilizations but now covered up by greedy modern doctors. Another correspondent urges heaping doses of testosterone supplements, perhaps as a morale booster. Or I must find ways of opening certain chakras and putting myself in an appropriately receptive mental state. Macrobiotic or vegan diets will be all I require for nourishment during this experience. And don’t laugh at poor old Mr. Angstrom above: somebody has written to me from a famous university to suggest that I have myself cryonically or cryogenically frozen against the day when the magic bullet, or whatever it is, has been devised. (When I failed to reply to this, I got a second missive, suggesting that I freeze at least my brain so that its cortex could be appreciated by posterity. Well, I mean to say, gosh, thanks awfully.) As against all that, I did get a kind note from a Cheyenne-Arapaho friend of mine, saying that everyone she knew who had resorted to tribal remedies had died almost immediately, and suggesting that if I was offered any Native American medicines I should “move as fast as possible in the opposite direction.” Some advice can actually be taken.

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