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Respected biographer Jeffrey Meyers delves into the complex life of the man whose visionary work gave us the great anti-utopias of modern literature. "The breadth of his research is impressive" (New York Times Book Review), drawing on a close study of the new edition of Orwell's Complete Works, personal interviews, and unpublished material in London's Orwell Archive. Meyers's "briskly paced, absorbing narrative...offers keen insights" (Boston Sunday Globe) on Orwell's intellectual development, as well as his human failings-his childhood insecurities, his political dilemmas, and his conflicted relationships with women. "Leagues in front of" Orwell's previous biographers, Meyers "convincingly demonstrates the essence of [Orwell's] character" (Denver Post), revealing a "much more helpful and believable portrait" (Paul Theroux). "The breadth of his research is impressive."-New York Times Book Review "A respected biographer and no stranger to his subject."-Newark Star-Ledger "[B]riskly paced, absorbing narrative...offers keen insights."-Boston Sunday Globe "[Meyers] convincingly demonstrates the essence of [Orwell's] character." -Denver Post "[A]dmirable for its portrayal of Orwell the man and writer--dark, disturbed, obsessing, contrary...both moving and edifying."-Paul Theroux "[L]ikely to be seen as the most insightful and balanced portrait...for a long time to come."-Joseph Frank "Meyers has uncovered fascinating aspects of Orwell's life that put a new face to one of Britain's most influential authors."-Phillip Knightley, author of The First Casualty

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780393322637
ISBN-10: 0393322637
Format: Paperback
(211mm x 140mm x 25mm)
Pages: 400
Imprint: WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Publish Date: 8-Nov-2001
Country of Publication: United States

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » There was nothing in Eric Blair's early life to suggest he would become one of the most influential writers of his generation, but he made a series of extraordinary decisions which supplied the material for his art. He was a mass of contradictions: an Etonian who famously sampled life as a down-and-out; a child of the Empire whose conscience made him abandon a promising colonial career. Suffering from bronchitis and then tuberculosis, he deliberately lived in the most squalid and unhealthy conditions and climates. He distrusted intimacy but longed for love; he sought fame and then shunned it. In spite of continual ill-health, he drove himself as a writer and became admired for his lucid intelligent essays and journalism. He will surely continue to be remembered for his two most famous political satires, 'Animal Farm' and 'Ninteen Eighty-Four.' Meyers explores his life and work in the first biography to use the 1998 20-volume edition of the Complete Works. Together with previously unpublished material from the Orwell Archive, he has conducted his own research, and interviews, to examine the self-created legend who became George Orwell. This is a most accessible and intriguing portrait of a short but unforgettable life. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Jeffrey Meyers

Jeffrey Meyers, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, has written biographies of D. H. Lawrence, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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