Burma sahib

£20.00

Before George Orwell was Orwell – the pen name he took on becoming a writer – he was Eric Blair, an unlikely policeman in Burma. 19 years old, unusually tall, highly intelligent, a diffident loner fresh from Eton, Blair stood out amongst his fellow trainees in 1920s Mandalay. It was here, over five years in the narrow colonial world of the Raj – a decaying system steeped in overt racism and petty class-conflict – that Eric Blair became the George Orwell we know: an anti-imperialist, a socialist and a writer of rare commitment. The inner journey he made in these years is remarkable, but in the absence of letters or diaries from the period, this richly complex transformation can only be told in fiction, as it is here by Paul Theroux, in one of his most striking and accomplished novels.

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From renowned author Paul Theroux comes a fascinating, atmospheric novel inspired by George Orwell’s years in Burma

There is a short period in everyone’s life when his character is fixed forever . . . ‘ George Orwell

Eric Blair stood out amongst his fellow police trainees in 1920s Burma. Nineteen years old, unusually tall, a diffident loner fresh from Eton, after five years spent in the narrow colonial world of the Raj – a decaying system steeped in overt racism and petty class-conflict – he would emerge as the George Orwell we know.

Drawing on all his powers of observation and imagination, Paul Theroux brings Orwell’s Burma years to radiant life, tracing the development of the young man’s consciousness as he confronts the social, racial and class politics and the reality of Burma beyond. Through one writer, we come to understand another – and see how what Orwell called ‘five boring years within the sound of bugles’ were in fact the years that made him.

‘Always a terrific teller of tales and conjurer of exotic locales’ Sunday Times

‘The most gifted, most prodigal writer of his generation’ Jonathan Raban

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Weight 0.62 kg
Dimensions 23.8 × 16.6 × 4.4 cm
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