Independent Writing from an Independent Mind

Open discussion about writing and reading

Part way through Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and Essays by Christopher Hitchens

First of all, I am not

finished with this book but there is a bit that I would like to share about it. Yesterday I was reading Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and Essays by Christopher Hitchens on the flight from Doha, Qatar, to Bangkok. This book is an excellent tome of essays and reviews. The writing is smart and thorough. While reading I came upon a chapter entitled ‘Scenes from and Execution’ which was originally an essay written about the witnessing of an execution in the state of Missouri. But this one struck me between the eyes in that it was written by Hitchens, probably my favoritie contemporay essayist but he’d written it from Potosi, Missouri, the childhood home of Michael Parks who was my classmate at the Defense Language Institute and is a life long brother to me. This I saw from the outset. But further into the chapter I see that Hitchens discusses the sixty minute stay of execution for my high school classmate, Kirt Wainwright. Yes, I grew up and went to school with that guy – as did everyone else in the Prescott High School class of 1985.

I’ve been haunted by this chapter since reading it.


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