Harper's Bazaar (UK) - - Contents -

The ar­bo­real art­works of Alex Katz come to Tate Liver­pool

to skinny-dip in their swim­ming pools. At Yale, she and her friend Ka­t­rina Heron prided them­selves on giv­ing the best par­ties, a tra­di­tion she con­tin­ued when she moved to Lon­don. ‘Par­ties formed around her,’ said one friend.

I was amazed to find that in her twen­ties she had had a re­la­tion­ship with Lu­cien Carr, the lit­er­ary cat­a­lyst for the Beat Gen­er­a­tion writ­ers Jack Ker­ouac and Allen Gins­berg. He was one of many, but Marie never found a man who could make her happy, de­spite mar­ry­ing twice and at one point re­unit­ing with her first hus­band. The di­aries she kept dur­ing the break-up of her sec­ond mar­riage, to the Bo­li­vian jour­nal­ist Juan Car­los Gu­mu­cio, re­veal her vul­ner­a­bil­ity. ‘All my anger and rage at Juan Car­los is rage at loss, the lost life we might have had, the joy and love that are gone,’ she wrote.

Marie was killed by a Syr­ian gov­ern­ment mor­tar, tar­geted on the rebel me­dia cen­tre where she was stay­ing in Baba Amr. Now she is be­ing im­mor­talised on screen. It was a strange ex­pe­ri­ence to see the fea­ture film, A Pri­vate War, be­cause Rosamund Pike has man­aged to in­habit Marie in a way I wouldn’t have thought pos­si­ble. She has re­pro­duced the an­gu­lar way in which Marie moved as well as her man­ner­isms and tricks of speech. Watch­ing Un­der the Wire, the drama-doc­u­men­tary based on Paul Con­roy’s mem­oir of those ter­ri­ble fi­nal days, was more dis­tress­ing. Paul’s ac­count, il­lus­trated by eerie re­con­struc­tions and found footage, gives a ter­ri­fy­ing glimpse of Marie’s last days and hours un­der bom­bard­ment in Baba Amr. It cat­a­pulted me back to the week be­fore, as we left the restau­rant and kissed good­bye be­fore go­ing to our re­spec­tive ho­tels.

Although writ­ing her bi­og­ra­phy has, in a way, brought her back to life for me, nearly seven years on, it’s still hard to ac­cept that our din­ner to­gether in Beirut re­ally was our last. Lind­sey Hil­sum is the in­ter­na­tional ed­i­tor for Chan­nel 4 News. Her book, ‘In Ex­tremis: The Life of War Cor­re­spon­dent Marie Colvin’, is pub­lished by Chatto & Win­dus on 1 Novem­ber. ‘A Pri­vate War’ is out in cin­e­mas later this year. ‘Un­der the Wire’ is avail­able on iTunes and Sky Store.

Above: Colvin in­ter­view­ing vil­lagers in Diyala Prov­ince, Iraq, in 2007.Right: as a debu­tante in 1973. Be­low: on the day of her wed­ding to JuanCar­los Gu­mu­cio

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