Orwell: The New Life (Hardcover)
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A fascinating exploration of George Orwell—and his body of work—by an award-winning Orwellian biographer and scholar, presenting the author anew to twenty-first-century readers.
We find ourselves in an era when the moment is ripe for a reevaluation of the life and the works of one of the twentieth century’s greatest authors. This is the first twenty-first-century biography on George Orwell, with special recognition to D. J. Taylor's stature as an award-winning biographer and Orwellian.
Using new sources that are now available for the first time, we are tantalizingly at the end of the lifespan of Orwell's last few contemporaries, whose final reflections are caught in this book. The way we look at a writer and his canon has changed even over the course of the last two decades; there is a post-millennial prism through which we must now look for such a biography to be fresh and relevant. This is what Orwell: The New Life achieves.
About the Author
D. J. Taylor is the author of The Lost Girls; Derby Day (nominated for the Booker Prize); and Orwell: The Life (2003), winner of the Whitbread Biography Award. D. J. is a book critic for several British newspapers and lives in London.
“Taylor makes use of Orwell’s own intellectual tools: his exposure of doublethink and of the magic tricks of oppression, his championing of those who suffer, and his commitment to clear thought. Taylor deploys all this to throw light on the people Orwell failed to notice or fully understand — including, perhaps, himself.”
— Sarah Bakewell, The New York Times Book Review
"Mr. Taylor’s Orwell: The New Life is a new text that completes the picture by fleshing out Orwell’s emotional life with recently discovered letters and interviews with the last living people to have known him. Expertly told and subtle in judgment, The New Life will not be the last word in the ever-growing field of Orwelliana, but it will become its central monument.”
— Dominic Green, The Wall Street Journal
“This book ranks as the new definitive work on Orwell. A useful introduction for readers new to Orwell and also illuminating for those who thought they knew everything about him.”
— Library Journal
“Taylor expertly illuminates how early influences provided Orwell with a keen interest in the power of language and the language of power. The subtitle of Taylor’s authoritative account reflects newly available material but could just as accurately reflect the renewed life given to Orwell in our post-fact world.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“Novelist and book critic Taylor delivers a sterling account of the life and works of George Orwell. Taylor’s meticulous research illuminates how Orwell’s political commitments informed his fiction. This stands out in the crowded field of Orwell biographies.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Praise for The Lost Girls:
“Highly entertaining account of the volatile lives of four young women.”
— The Wall Street Journal
“Because of D. J. Taylor’s vivid and affecting group biography, the 'lost girls' will never be lost again."
— The Washington Post
“A lively, perceptive, and gossip-strewn inquiry into an overlooked aspect of an influential corner of literary life. Lost Girls features war, snobbery, high culture (and low), exotic locations, and a fast and often bizarre dramatis personae that, when its members stray, tend to do so in the most intriguing ways.”
— The New Criterion
“Taylor gives his subjects dimension, sympathy, and credit for their contributions to letters. This book opens a window onto a fascinating literary and social period and will inspire readers to explore it further in both history and fiction.”