Coming Up for Air

Friday 15 June 2012

This week we celebrated the publication anniversary of Orwell’s novel Coming Up for Air. Written in 1938 and first published on 12th June 1939, Coming Up for Air is a story of a man’s journey home to the setting of his childhood. Imminent war, nostalgia and fear of a changing world set the tone of a philosophical book written by Orwell in the lead up to Nineteen Eighteen-Four. You can read more about Coming Up for Air including the first chapter on our website.

Buxton Festival 2012

We’re so excited to be returning to Buxton on 16th July. For 2012 we’ll be taking Paul Anderson, Jan Montifiore, Charles Allen, Tony Wright and Stuart Evers to row about who is the better writer; Orwell or Kipling. You can see full details on our website.

From the archive

In anticipation of our upcoming debate you can read Orwell’s writings on Kipling or watch our debate on the same topic last year at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival on our website.

From elsewhere

  • The Guardian have produced an eBook of Amelia Gentleman’s Orwell Prize winning features.
  • Connor Woodman, whose book Unfair Trade was longlisted for this year’s prize, spoke at Hay Festival on how Big Business Exploits the World’s Poor – and why it doesn’t have to.
  • We had a wonderful response to our Twitter competition this week with lots of people telling us why they write. Toby Harnden picked five winners to receive copies of his Orwell Prize 2012 winning book. You can see the tweets he chose on The Orwell Prize profile.
  • The wartime diaries

    This week’s entries were published on 11th, 13th and 15th June 1942. Next week’s entries will be published on 21st and 24th June 1942. Don’t forget our other Orwell Diary blogs: his Hop-Picking Diary and The Road to Wigan Pier Diary. If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on You can also follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.