A spirited and essential companion to Orwell and his works, covering all the novels and major essays
An intellectual who hated intellectuals, a socialist who didn’t trust the state—our foremost political essayist and author of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four was a man of stark, puzzling contradictions. Knowing Orwell’s life and reading Orwell’s works produces just as many questions as it answers.
Celebrated Orwell biographer D. J. Taylor guides fans and new readers alike through the many twists and turns of Orwell’s books, life and thought. As a writer he intended his works to be transparent and instantly accessible, yet they are also full of secrets and surprises, tantalising private histories, and psychological quirks. From his conflicted relationship with religion to his competing anti-imperialism and fascination with empire, Who Is Big Brother? delves into the complex development of this essential yet enigmatic voice.
Taylor leads us through Orwell’s principal writings and complex life—crafting an illuminating guide to one of the most enduringly relevant writers in the English language.
D. J. Taylor is an award-winning novelist, critic, and biographer. His book Orwell: The Life won the 2003 Whitbread Prize for Biography, and Orwell: The New Life was published in 2023. His books include two Booker-longlisted novels and a life of Thackeray.
“From the foothills of early Orwell, when he was searching for a style and a politics, to the stunning vistas of his later years, Taylor shows the way. No one knows the trails better.”—Robert Colls, author of George Orwell: English Rebel
“Full of new intriguing insights, as one has come to expect from any melding of the inquisitive minds of Taylor and Orwell.”—Sylvia Topp, author of Eileen: The Making of George Orwell
“D. J. Taylor knows Orwell back to front and inside out, and he wears his immense knowledge lightly. Insightful, provocative and entertaining.”—Dorian Lynskey, author of The Ministry of Truth
“D. J. Taylor is the world's leading Orwellian. What he offers here will raise any reader's awareness of a writer whose reputation grows year on year as the world catches up with him.”—John Sutherland, author of Orwell’s Nose
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