Culture 10 October 2011 Hitchens: "I'm not going to quit until I absolutely have to" Writer makes first public appearance for months in Texas. Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML Tweet It's been several months since we've heard from Christopher Hitchens but the great polemicist appeared on Saturday at the Atheist Alliance of America convention in Houston, Texas. Hitchens, who is being treated at the nearby MD Anderson Cancer Center for stage IV oesophageal cancer, collected the Richard Dawkins Freethinker of the Year Award at the event. He told the crowd that his "time" was rapidly approaching but added: "I'm not going to quit until I absolutely have to." Though physically frail, Hitchens, who I interviewed for the NS last year, retains his remarkable mental agility. In his acceptance speech, he said: We have the same job that we have always had, to say as thinking people and as humans that there are no final solutions, there is no absolute truth, there is no supreme leader, there is no totalitarian solution that says if you will just give up your freedom of inquiry, if you will simply abandon your critical faculties, a world of idiotic bliss will be yours. You can watch footage of Dawkins presenting the award and Hitchens accepting it below. Dawkins's presentation Hitchens's acceptance Hat-tip: Why Evolution Is True › Fox's fate remains unclear George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe from just £1 per issue More Related articles Brexit will lead to unfair deportations of EU citizens, academic warns The art of suffering: Sara Baume's A Line Made By Walking Former Ukip media chief warns on party breakdown: "The wounds will never heal"