Newsletter: ‘Did not want to spend night in streets’

Friday 04 February 2011

We’re now a few days into our project of blogging Orwell’s Wigan Pier diaries from 1936, 75 years to the day after each was written. Orwell is currently in Manchester, and will be heading for Wigan itself shortly. Granta Magazine carried a couple of diary entries on their site, and if you’d like to learn more about Orwell and Wigan Pier, we have a number of resources:

And we have Peter Davison with the details of the book’s publication, and the late Ben Pimlott on ‘Orwell’s England’.

The Orwell Prize 2011

This year’s Prize has received a record-breaking 213 entries for the Book Prize, 87 journalists for the Journalism Prize and 205 bloggers for the Blog Prize. To see a full list of entrants, visit our website. The longlists will be announced on 30th March 2011.

From the archive

Raja Shehadeh, winner of the Orwell Prize for Palestinian Walks, will be appearing at this year’s Jewish Book Festival in London on 6th March. You can find much more on Raja – extracts, talks and walks, including a conversation and walk with Marina Lewycka – on our website. Raja will be talking to Index on Censorship’s Jo Glanville, who took part in one of our 1984 anniversary debates on thoughtcrime (with Maajid Nawaz and Hopi Sen). One of Patrick Cockburn’s Orwell Prize-winning articles was about his son Henry’s schizophrenia. You can now listen to an audio interview with the two of them online, and all of Patrick’s winning pieces can be found on our site. Robert Tressell, author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, died 100 years ago yesterday. Orwell described it as ‘a wonderful book, although it is very clumsily written’ in ‘The Proletarian Writer’, available on our site.

From elsewhere

For the last year, BAFTA-winning journalist and academic, Aleks Krotoski, has been posting the first three paragraphs of one of her favourite books in photographs, one word at a time. That book happens to be 1984, and you can now find the complete set over on flickr. Also, Peter Davison reassesses Orwell’s ‘two wasted years’ at the BBC over at Finlay Publisher. There’s much more from Peter on our ‘About Orwell’ page. And novelist Robert Harris has been talking to Sebastian Faulks about Winston Smith ahead of Faulks’ new BBC series, Faulks on Fiction. Harris’ introduction to the 60th anniversary edition of 1984th anniversary edition of 1984 is available (free) on The Times website.

The Wartime Diaries

The next entry will be published on 7th February.

The Wigan Pier Diaries

This week, entries were published on 31st January and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th February. Next week, entries will be published on 5th, 10th and 11th February. If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on or follow us on Twitter. And you can subscribe to this newsletter via email.