In Extremis

Lindsey Hilsum

On Writing Her Biography of Marie Colvin

“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

Watch a video about the story behind In Extremis, Lindsey Hilsum’s inspiring and devastating biography about the life and death of Marie Colvin, the foremost war reporter of her generation, who was killed in Syria in 2012. Colvin was committed to bearing witness to the horrifying truths of war, and to shining a light on the profound suffering of ordinary people caught in the midst of conflict. Her life story also forms the basis of the feature film A Private War, starring Rosamund Pike as Colvin.

Hilsum, a fellow reporter, was a close friend of Colvin’s. In the video she says, “I hope that by writing this biography I have in some ways brought her back to life.”

Lindsey Hilsum is the International Editor for Channel 4 News in England. She has covered many of the major conflicts and international events of the last twenty-five years, including the wars in Syria, Ukraine, Iraq and Kosovo; the Arab Spring; and the genocide in Rwanda. Her writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, and Granta. Her first book, Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution was short-listed for the 2012 Guardian First Book Award.