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ISBN 10: 039304792X / ISBN 13: 9780393047929
Published by NY: W W NORTON, 2000, NY, 2000
Condition: NICE Hardcover
From Mikes books (Dallas, TX, U.S.A.)

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FIRM. NICE/NICE. First Edition. BIOGRAPHY. BY AUTHOR. Bookseller Inventory # 002461

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: NY: W W NORTON, 2000, NY

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: FIRM

Book Condition:NICE

Dust Jacket Condition: NICE


Edition: First Edition


About this title


Drawing on the collected works of the visionary writer, as well as interviews with family and friends and unpublished materials in the Orwell Archive, the author paints a vivid portrait of the writer who penned, 1984 and other modern classics. 12,000 first printing.


It was a fellow English writer, V.S. Pritchett, who called George Orwell (1903-50) "the wintry conscience of a generation," and wintry is certainly an appropriate adjective for Jeffrey Meyers's somber portrait. It's not that veteran biographer Meyers doesn't admire the author of Animal Farm and 1984; he rightly sees Orwell as one of the 20th century's most penetrating critics of totalitarianism and most passionate advocates for a more humane society. He also notes that this combative polemicist could be "kind and gentle in his personal relations." But there's no way to make the chronicle of Orwell's life into a cheerful story. Born Eric Blair, he had an unhappy childhood, stifled by the conventions of a class system he grew to despise. Writing under the name George Orwell, he offended fellow socialists with his blunt criticisms of their failures in The Road to Wigan Pier, then, in Homage to Catalonia, infuriated communists by denouncing Stalinist persecutions of anarchists during the Spanish Civil War. His first wife died suddenly at age 39; his second married him on his deathbed. By the time 1984 made Orwell famous and wealthy in 1949, he knew the tuberculosis that had plagued him since childhood would soon kill him. As was the case in his books on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edmund Wilson, and many others, Meyers's brisk narrative goes no deeper than the conventional wisdom about Orwell's writing, and his psychological assessments are similarly accurate but superficial. But for those just getting to know England's most scrupulous and influential political novelist, this no-frills biography makes a good introduction. --Wendy Smith

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