Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Finding George Orwell in Burma
Finding George Orwell in Burma | Emma Larkin
11 posts | 9 read | 11 to read
A fascinating political travelogue that traces the life and work of George Orwell in Southeast Asia Over the years the American writer Emma Larkin has spent traveling in Burma, also known as Myanmar, she's come to know all too well the many ways this brutal police state can be described as "Orwellian." The life of the mind exists in a state of siege in Burma, and it long has. But Burma's connection to George Orwell is not merely metaphorical; it is much deeper and more real. Orwell's mother was born in Burma, at the height of the British raj, and Orwell was fundamentally shaped by his experiences in Burma as a young man working for the British Imperial Police. When Orwell died, the novel-in-progress on his desk was set in Burma. It is the place George Orwell's work holds in Burma today, however, that most struck Emma Larkin. She was frequently told by Burmese acquaintances that Orwell did not write one book about their country - his first novel, Burmese Days - but in fact he wrote three, the "trilogy" that included Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. When Larkin quietly asked one Burmese intellectual if he knew the work of George Orwell, he stared blankly for a moment and then said, "Ah, you mean the prophet!" In one of the most intrepid political travelogues in recent memory, Emma Larkin tells of the year she spent traveling through Burma using the life and work of George Orwell as her compass. Going from Mandalay and Rangoon to poor delta backwaters and up to the old hill-station towns in the mountains of Burma's far north, Larkin visits the places where Orwell worked and lived, and the places his books live still. She brings to vivid life a country and a people cut off from the rest of the world, and from one another, by the ruling military junta and its vast network of spies and informers. Using Orwell enables her to show, effortlessly, the weight of the colonial experience on Burma today, the ghosts of which are invisible and everywhere. More important, she finds that the path she charts leads her to the people who have found ways to somehow resist the soul-crushing effects of life in this most cruel police state. And George Orwell's moral clarity, hatred of injustice, and keen powers of observation serve as the author's compass in another sense too: they are qualities she shares and they suffuse her book - the keenest and finest reckoning with life in this police state that has yet been written.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
blurb
readordierachel
post image

Called a "political travelogue" and "literary criticism with solid field reporting," this is the story of the year Emma Larkin spent in Burma, following in the footsteps of George Orwell. (He lived and worked there for 5 years in the 1920s, as an Imperial Policeman.) It seems the author might have said on her travels: see #howfarillgo and #dontstopmenow

#maymoviemagic
@Cinfhen @rohit-sawant

RaimeyGallant I just finally (now that I'm on the web version) read the quote in your profile, lol. 3w
readordierachel @RaimeyGallant Groucho Marx for the win 😋 3w
Cinfhen This one sounds pretty interesting! Once again, thanks for posting & sharing ❤️ 3w
See All 9 Comments
Stephjotsdown Wow. Interesting. Adding it to my TBR 3w
charl08 Love this book! 3w
rohit-sawant This seems fascinating! Great mashup of prompts! 🙌🏼 3w
readordierachel @charl08 good to know!! 3w
readordierachel @Stephjotsdown Enjoy! 👍🏼 3w
readordierachel @Cinfhen @rohit-sawant 🤗🤗🤗 3w
91 likes1 stack add9 comments
quote
readordierachel
post image

(Love finding other people's notes in books. I think these are teaching notes?)

"Introduce self
talk abt great readers in summer
Show my book & talk abt how I was doing something great readers do that I'm sure they do too...
Today we're going to practice making some predictions. For the first chapter, I want you to watch very carefully what I do, then it will be your turn to help me..."

merelybookish That's awesome! I love the reminder to "introduce yourself." 9mo
CindyMyLifeIsLit Yep, that‘s a teacher! When you do the same thing, class after class, you start to lose track of whether you did it with these kids or you‘re just remembering it from last period. Notes help you make sure you‘re hitting everything every time. 9mo
Stephykitten Aww I love teachers notes 📝 ❤️ 9mo
See All 6 Comments
readordierachel @merelybookish Isn't that charming? 😊 9mo
readordierachel @Stephykitten It was the first one I've seen. So neat! 9mo
103 likes6 comments
blurb
ToriE18
post image

Enjoying the sunshine and starting a new book- even though I have four other books I'm in the middle of. Oh well. 🤗

review
JGadz11
post image
Pickpick

After living in SE Asia for years, I thought I knew a lot about the region. Turns out I knew nothing about Myanmar. The thing that surprised me most, though, was discovering I want to visit less now than I did before I read this book. Disturbing, pulling back the curtain to see what's behind it. What a sad history.

blurb
JGadz11
post image

Airport booty.

review
MDodge
post image
Pickpick

A book I've been meaning to read for a long time, and I finally finished it for #readharder2017 #travelmemoir challenge. I think this counts? It certainly contains a lot of travel. After living on the Thai-Burma border for two years, I really loved reading about an earlier Burma, and I want to go back! In addition (confession time) I have actually never finished a book by Orwell, but I'm pretty inspired to try again now.

review
AndreaH
post image
Pickpick

One of my faves! Part memoir, part history, great writing!

review
CallMeIshmael
post image
Pickpick

I really enjoyed the journey this took me on and the writer did her part but it also depresses me that in this modern world we still have areas like this that exist. #weneedtodobetter

13 likes4 stack adds
quote
CallMeIshmael
post image

Perfect for today....pay attention it can happen anywhere

15 likes1 stack add
blurb
CallMeIshmael
post image
Mayread 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 3y
17 likes1 comment
review
Abailliekaras
post image
Pickpick

I love a travelogue with an idiosyncratic approach. George orwell's trail gives this structure but the real drama is daily life in Burma. (You couldn't make this up - but see '1984'). Intrepid, well-written, an eye for small details. Oppressive regime (improving now?); colonialism..Food for thought.

4 likes1 stack add