In Extremis, By Marie Colvin

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In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent, By Marie Colvin. - Hardcover

Marie Colvin was glamorous, hard-drinking, braver than the boys, with a troubled and rackety personal life. She reported from the most dangerous places in the world, going in further and staying longer than anyone else. Like her hero, the legendary reporter Martha Gellhorn, she sought to bear witness to the horrifying truths of war, to write ‘the first draft of history’ and to shine a light on the suffering of ordinary people.


Marie covered the major conflicts of our time: Israel and Palestine, Chechnya, East Timor, Sri Lanka – where she was hit by a grenade and lost sight in her left eye, resulting in her trademark eye-patch – Iraq and Afghanistan. Her anecdotes about encounters with dictators and presidents – including Colonel Gaddafi and Yasser Arafat, whom she knew well – were incomparable. She was much admired, and as famous for her wild parties as for the extraordinary lengths to which she went to tell the story, including being smuggled into Syria where she was killed in 2012.

Written by fellow foreign correspondent Lindsey Hilsum, this is the story of the most daring war reporter of her time. Drawing on unpublished diaries and interviews with Marie's friends, family and colleagues, Hilsum conjures a fiercely compassionate, complex woman who was driven to an extraordinary life and tragic death. In Extremis is the story of our turbulent age, and the life of a woman who defied convention.

‘It has always seemed to me that what I write about is humanity in extremis, pushed to the unendurable, and that it is important to tell people what really happens in wars.’ MARIE COLVIN, 2001

*Marie Colvin is also remembered in two films: Under the Wire, a drama-doc about Marie’s last trip to Syria, and A Private War, a forthcoming feature film about her life, starring Rosamund Pike*

** BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK **

"A stunningly good biography – compelling, revelatory and very moving. Lindsey Hilsum is the perfect writer to tell the story of Marie Colvin's rackety, brave and charismatic life" (William Boyd)

"Rarely has a friend and colleague written such a brave and uncompromising testament to such a rare, brave and uncompromising woman. Would that a few more of us should be so blessed in our courage and our friends" (Shami Chakrabarti)

"Writing a biography of Marie Colvin is like capturing lightning in a bottle, but Lindsey Hilsum has the knowledge and personal experience to help us understand what drew Colvin to rush towards the eye of the storm at such great risk. It is a superbly fitting tribute" (Annie Lennox)

"In Lindsey Hilsum, Marie Colvin has found, posthumously, the right biographer. She penetrates the war-zone of Colvin’s life, and fetches her back in all her beautiful, brave complexity. This is a heartbreaking portrait that does not detract from the legend, but understands the compulsions which returned Colvin time and again to seek out the most dangerous places" (Nicholas Shakespeare)

"One of the modern world’s most experienced and admired foreign correspondents, Lindsey Hilsum, has now written a riveting, intimate and deeply moving account of the epic life of her late friend and colleague, Marie Colvin, who will be long remembered – not least because of Hilsum’s fine work in this book – as amongst the great war reporters of her generation" (Jon Lee Anderson)

"An inspiring and intimate biography of one of the bravest journalists of our time by one of her finest colleagues. Lindsey Hilsum takes us inside the world of a woman who changed the world around her" (Lyse Doucet)

"Superb. A fitting account of the life of one of the finest war correspondents of our time, written by another. I admired Marie greatly, and In Extremis showed me I was right to do so" (John Simpson)