Magazine article Book

George Orwell. (in the Margins)

Magazine article Book

George Orwell. (in the Margins)

Article excerpt

"He faced the competing orthodoxies and despotisms of his day with little more than a battered typewriter and a stubborn personality."--Christopher Hitchens, in Why Orwell Matters

WHAT WOULD GEORGE ORWELL HAVE THOUGHT of the state of the world today, in 2003, the hundredth anniversary of his birth? It's a question best asked of any of a number of biographers. Stacks of books about Orwell are being released for the occasion, just as fresh editions of the author's own work are rolling out. Here are a few examples:

The Girl From the Fiction Department: A Portrait of Sonia Orwell by Hilary Spurling

The life of Orwell's controversial second wife--talented editor, great beauty and the inspiration for the character Julia in 1984. Bottom Line: A gossipy defense of the woman Orwell biographers love to hate.

Scenes From an Afterlife: The Legacy of George Orwell by John Rodden

A respected Orwell scholar on how legions of admiring Orwellians have used and abused the writer's legacy. Bottom Line: A useful guide, but for Orwell addicts only.

Orwell by Scott Lucas

A short, highly critical and handsomely illustrated biography by a writer suspicious of Orwell's politics. …

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