George Orwell

George Orwell

George Orwell’s real name was Eric Blair (1903-1950). He died aged just 46, after writing landmark books of both fiction and nonfiction. Our interview about George Orwell is with his biographer, DJ Taylor, author of Orwell: The LifeThe interview is a great way to learn about both George Orwell’s life and his books, so if you’re at all interested in Orwell, please take the time to read it. Below, we’ve also listed Orwell’s books in the order they were written, with comments from experts about why they picked them as important and illuminating in their area of study. We’ve also included an excellent Penguin collection of his essays.

In memory of George Orwell, the UK has annual Orwell Prizes, rewarding both journalism and books which best meet the spirit of George Orwell’s ambition “to make political writing into an art.” The book prizes are the nonfiction Orwell Prize for Political Writing and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction.

Books by George Orwell

Interviews where books by George Orwell were recommended

The Best George Orwell Books, recommended by D J Taylor

Seventy years on from its initial publication, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is just as resonant in today’s era of misinformation and fake news as it was in the incipient Cold War era. D J Taylor, author of a lauded biography of Orwell and a forthcoming biography of Nineteen Eighty-Four, takes us through the extraordinary impact of the author’s fiction and reportage.

The Best Political Satire Books, recommended by P. J. O’Rourke

Satire is humour used for a moral purpose, explains American political satirist P.J. O’Rourke—though it doesn’t have to be particularly funny and can be quite dark. Here, he chooses five classic works of political satire, books that lay bare the shortcomings of not only communism and fascism but also the two-party system and the quest for a perfect society where everyone is happy.

The best books on Human Imperfection, recommended by Henry Normal

Poet, writer and Bafta winning TV and film producer, Henry Normal, talks about his experiences bringing up his autistic son, the need for acceptance and why we should all embrace our human imperfections. Along the way he recommends five books that inspired him as a young man and continue to inspire him today.

Books that Changed the World, recommended by Amanda Craig

Jane Eyre, 1984 and Anne Frank’s diary all make it onto novelist Amanda Craig’s list. On Black Beauty‘s underrated importance: ‘People forget that William Wilberforce, who abolished the slave trade, also founded the RSPCA.’

The best books on Paris, recommended by David Downie

The city of romance and art is also, like most big cities, a place of grit and grime. The American writer and long-time Paris resident David Downie tells us where to look if we’re to understand the people and past of this most alluring city.

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