Finding George Orwell in Burma | Granta

  • Published: 07/07/2011
  • ISBN: 9781847084026
  • 129x20mm
  • 240 pages

Finding George Orwell in Burma

Emma Larkin

In this intrepid and brilliant memoir, Emma Larkin tells of the year she spent travelling through Burma, using as a compass the life and work of George Orwell, whom many of Burma’s underground teahouse intellectuals call simply “the prophet”. In stirring, insightful prose, she provides a powerful reckoning with one of the world’s least free countries. Finding George Orwell in Burma is a brave and revelatory reconnaissance of modern Burma, one of the world’s grimmest and most shuttered dictatorships, where the term “Orwellian” aptly describes the life endured by the country’s people. This book has come to be regarded as a classic of reportage and travel and a crucial book for anyone interested in Burma and George Orwell.

This is one of those rare books, a beautifully crafted account of a journey which actually takes the reader somewhere new and unusual. Emma Larkin did not just go searching for Orwell, she found him. Along the way, she made the chilling discovery that in modern-day Burma, the totalitarian tyrannies he evoked in Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm are horrifyingly alive and well.

Jon Lee Anderson

This mournful, meditative, appealingly idiosyncratic book is a hybrid, an exercise in literary detection but also a political travelogue that uses Burma to explain Orwell, and Orwell - especially the Orwell of Animal Farm and Nineteen eight-Four - to explain the miseries of present-day Myanmar (as it is known)

The New York Times

Engaging...Larkin's reportage on Burma is every bit as fascinating as Orwell's Burmese essays of the 1930s. Her ability to listen to the Burmese without putting words in their mouths and her unexaggerated prose paint an enlightening portrait of the country...a superb account of life in Burma's exotic tragi-comedy


The Author

EMMA LARKIN grew up in Bangkok and still lives in Thailand. She is the author of Finding George Orwell in Burma and Everything is Broken.

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