Encountering Orwell

Monday 10 October 2016

To celebrate the launch of our new website, The Orwell Prize is publishing a new set of Encounters in our Encountering Orwell Series. In 2014, to Celebrate our 21st Birthday, we collected and published a series of Encounters with Orwell: winners, judges, board members and friends were asked to share their experiences of reading George Orwell. Over the coming days, we will publish a series of new Encounters on our website, beginning with Dr Rowan Williams’ which you can read today. Follow us on twitter to keep up to date.

You can read the first collection of Encountering Orwell here.

Jean Seaton, Director of the Orwell Prize, said:

Books are mind-altering things. They speak into the intimate inner-ear of the reader, subtly altering how the world is understood from the inside out. Reading builds and re-directs a person. Books can enlarge (but also constrain) how people see things, places and events. Some reading does more than that – it changes mentalities – sets a whole stance on the world. But any particular reading is also an odd synthesis of personal history and historical moment. Good books need their readers primed to read them as well.

So the Orwell Prize is excited and honoured to publish a new collection in its series of Orwell Encounters featuring great writers and doers – people who have shaped our collective thinking – such as Rowan Williams, Melvyn Bragg, Clive Stafford Smith who founded Reprieve, Shami Chakrabarti and journalists and critics like Robert Colls and Alison Holt. All of them evidently enjoyed pinning down that first significant meeting with Orwell the writer. When original, thoughtful people meet a thought-provoking original, the encounters lead in many unexpected directions. Encounter them encountering Orwell