Friday 06 January 2012
Happy New Year, everyone! And with the new year comes a new Orwell essay on our site. First published in January 1949, Orwell’s ‘Reflections on Gandhi’ reflected on the life and legacy of the Indian independence leader, who had died the previous year. ‘Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent’, began Orwell – and you can read the rest of his judgement on our website.
Entries now OPEN
The Orwell Prize 2012 is now OPEN for entries. Entry forms for all three prize, and basic details of the entry process, are available on our ‘How to Enter’ page. You can also check out the full rules and the values of the Prize, or learn more about the judges. Entries close on 18 January 2012, for all work first published in 2011. The Prize is self-nominating, but if you think there’s someone who should enter, either encourage them to do so or get in touch. Good luck!
Nineteen Eighty-Four at Foyles
The Foyles Café at Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road is currently exhibiting some of Aleks Krotoski’s photographs inspired by Nineteen Eighty-Four. Aleks spent just over a year telling the first 369 words of the novel, one word at a time, in photographs. You can see the full set of images on her Flickr stream, and you can buy some of the images via her online store. More on the novel on our site. And more news on the exhibition soon…
From the archive
‘Reflections on Gandhi’ is one of a number of Orwell essays with anniversaries this week. From January 1946, there’s ‘The Prevention of Literature’, about free speech; from 4 January 1946, there’s ‘Freedom and Happiness’, a review of Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We (a major influence on Nineteen Eighty-Four); and on the 5 January, both ‘A Day in the Life of a Tramp’ (1929) and ‘Just Junk – But Who Could Resist It?’ (1946) celebrated milestones. Two men were found guilty of the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence this week. Events around the murder and the investigation formed the basis of Brian Cathcart’s The Case of Stephen Lawrence, winner of the Orwell Prize for Books in 2000. We hope to bring you an extract from the book in due course, but until then, here’s Brian’s assessment of the verdict this week, and ‘Stephen’s Last Day’, a reconstruction published by The Independent in 1998.
- David Allen Green, previously shortlisted for the Blog Prize and a judge of last year’s Prize, considers the possibility of a George Orwell statue
- The FT’s John Kay wrote about Orwell, the late Vaclav Havel and language, quoting Orwell’s ‘Politics and the English Language’
- Orwell’s essay on the perfect pub, ‘The Moon Under Water’, featured in a piece by the Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon, lamenting a late perfect landlord…
- Shortlist named Nineteen Eighty-Four one of the ’50 coolest books ever’
- Blog Prize judge, Suzanne Moore, wrote about Englishness for The Guardian and noted Orwell’s descriptions of it in ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’
- UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has been in Burma, talking to the government and Aung San Suu Kyi – we have an extensive archive of events about Burma and Orwell’s writing about his time there…
- …and you can read the first chapter of William Hague’s William Wilberforce, shortlisted for the Book Prize 2008
- An article by the late Christopher Hitchens (shortlisted for his Hitch-22) on Charles Dickens was published – Orwell’s essay on Dickens is on our website, with video of our two Orwell v Dickens debates
- And calling all independent booksellers – entries for the Independent Bookseller of the Year award are now open. Orwell wrote about his own time working in a bookshop in ‘Bookshop Memories’
The Wartime Diaries
The next entry will be published on 14th March.
The Hop-Picking Diaries
The final entry was published on 8th October.
The Wigan Pier Diaries
The final entry was published on 25th March. If you’ve got any suggestions about our website(s), we’d love to hear from you – email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter. And you can subscribe to this newsletter via email.