The International Editor for Channel 4 News in England offers a look into the extraordinary life of one of the most celebrated war correspondents of the last century, drawing on her diaries, reportage, and interviews with those who knew her until her death in Syria in 2012.
Lindsey Hilsum’s In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin is an extraordinary account of one reporter’s fearless and ultimately fatal dedication ... Piecing together Colvin’s exuberantly messy life through more than a hundred interviews with ex-husbands, former lovers, family members, friends and colleagues, Hilsum draws an empathetic portrait of a woman whose courage often crossed into recklessness, both in combat zones and outside them ... Hilsum unpacks one terrifying story after another to illustrate how far Colvin was willing to go to expose the truth ... Colvin never slowed down long enough to write a memoir. Now, thanks to Hilsum’s deeply reported and passionately written book, she has the full accounting that she deserves.
In the preface to her excellent biography, Hilsum sums up the enigma of Colvin: 'Marie knew where the story was, and would stop at nothing to get it.' The biography’s aim is to illuminate that fact ... Absorbing and meticulously researched, In Extremis documents Marie Colvin’s quest to bear witness to the atrocities perpetrated by oppressive forces throughout the world—a calling she ultimately paid for with her life.
Here [Hilsum] marshals not just empathy for her subject, who was also a friend, but investigative and critical skills and damn fine storytelling ... Colvin’s 300 journals, her articles and Hilsum’s interviews with friends, family and other witnesses draw us into the drama, and inside her head. Hilsum’s understanding of the background to each conflict, and the reality of life as a correspondent in the field, is one of the great strengths of the book ... In chronicling this unravelling, the book does a wider service, portraying the price paid by many war correspondents, including Colvin, in alcoholism, PTSD and broken relationships. While her friendships lasted all her life, her love life, the second storyline here, was often chaotic and heartbreaking. Hilsum doesn’t hold back on the subject of the Sunday Times, and its branding of Colvin as a risk-taking adventurer ...
In Extremis rescues Marie Colvin from the rubble of Bab Amr, and brings her tragically, and tenderly, to life.