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On Nineteen Eighty-Four

On Nineteen Eighty-Four

A Biography

by D. J. Taylor
Paperback
Publication Date: 11/11/2021

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A smart and insightful book on the history and enduring power of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, which has seen a resurgence in the current political and social climate

From the author of the definitive biography of George Orwell, a captivating account of the origin and enduring power of his landmark dystopian novel

Since its publication nearly 70 years ago, George Orwell's 1984has been regarded as one of the most influential novels of the modern age. Politicians have testified to its influence on their intellectual identities, rock musicians have made records about it, TV viewers watch a reality show named for it, and a White House spokesperson tells of "alternative facts." The world we live in is often described as an Orwellian one, awash in inescapable surveillance and invasions of privacy. 

On 1984dives deep into Orwell's life to chart his earlier writings and key moments in his youth, such as his years at a boarding school, whose strict and charismatic headmaster shaped the idea of Big Brother. Taylor tells the story of the writing of the book, taking readers to the Scottish island of Jura, where Orwell, newly famous thanks to Animal Farmbut coping with personal tragedy and rapidly declining health, struggled to finish 1984. Published during the cold war--a term Orwell coined--Taylor elucidates the environmental influences on the book. Then he examines 1984's post-publication life, including its role as a tool to understand our language, politics, and government.

In a current climate where truth, surveillance, censorship, and critical thinking are contentious, Orwell's work is necessary. Written with resonant and reflective analysis, On 1984is both brilliant and remarkably timely.

ISBN:
9781419747649
9781419747649
Category:
Literature: history & criticism
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
11-11-2021
Language:
English
Publisher:
Abrams, Inc.
Country of origin:
United States
Pages:
208
Dimensions (mm):
210x140x17mm
Weight:
0.21kg
D. J. Taylor

D. J. Taylor is a writer and critic. His collection of short stories, After Bathing at Baxter's was published in 1997 and he is the author of six novels: Great Eastern Land (1986); Real Life (1992); English Settlement (1996); Trespass (1998), a satire of 1970s England; The Comedy Man (2001), the story of one half of a comedy duo; and Kept: A Victorian Mystery (2006). Several of his books are set in his home city of Norwich.

His books of non-fiction include Afer the War: The Novel and England Since 1945 (1993); A Vain Conceit: British fiction in the 1980s (1989), a critical look at the quality of fiction-writing in Britain; and most recently, Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940.

He is also well-known for his biographies: Thackeray (1999); and Orwell: The Life, published in 2003 to coincide with the centenary of Orwell's birth. This book won the 2003 Whitbread Biography Award.

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