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Finding George Orwell in Burma [Kindle Edition]

Emma Larkin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

Product Description

About the Author

Emma Larkin is the pseudonym for an American writer who was born, raised, and still lives in Asia. She studied the Burmese langauge at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and has been visiting Burma for more than 15 years. She is also the author of Everything is Broken.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 545 KB
  • Print Length: 244 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1847084028
  • Publisher: Granta Books (7 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005INWLT2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,632 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homage to Burma?... 1 Jan. 2011
By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER
Hardly. Orwell saved that for Catalonia. Emma Larkin has written a wonderful, realistic book on modern Burma, structuring it by tracing the path of George Orwell when he was a colonial officer there in the `20's. As she indicates in the prologue, many Burmese believe that he wrote not one novel, but rather a trilogy about the country: Burmese Days (Penguin Modern Classics) Animal Farm: A Fairy Story and 1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four (Penguin Modern Classics) The later two books may have unintentional described the conditions in Burma today. I have previously read "Burmese Days" and did not particularly like it for its relentless negative tone, which may reflect the sad, debilitating nature of the colonial ruler / subject relationship. I felt it was similar to Celine's Journey to the End of the Night (Oneworld Classics)

Larkin is a journalist, using this name as a pseudonym, speaks Burmese, and must be careful of her inquisitiveness and her sources as she travels around the country. She starts her journey, as did Orwell, in Mandalay. She also knows her Kipling, and reflects on the love-hate relationship Orwell had with a writer synonymous with the British Empire. She traveled to Maymyo, the old hill station that resembles "back Home" England, and stayed at the Candacraig Hotel. She describes the town for what it is, a distant mirror of the Empire.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insigth and account 14 April 2013
By E Wood
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The writing is beatiufl and captivating. For anyone who has been to Burma or is about to visit this is certainly a useful read and provides a good perspective on just how difficult and frustrating life can be, using the vehicle of Geroge Orwell's previous experiecne of working int eh country, although at a very different time, and how this has undoubtedly affected his writings in later years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it 17 Dec. 2013
Very interesting about Burma as it was at its worst with loads of details that really bring the country to life, and also an interesting insight into George Orwell and the colonial period. Also very easy to read. Was my favourite book when I was there.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book on my return from a visit to Burma and I found it a really interesting and illuminating read. It is quite the best book I have read about Burma and I think that is because the author speaks Burmese, and is able to have many conversations with ordinary Burmese people. It is quite true that as a tourist you get a very superficial impression that things are better in the country than you expected. So it was especially revealing to read in this book about what really goes on below the surface and behind-the-scenes that tourists don't get to see. I read this book straight after reading George Orwell's "Burmese Days" and along with all his other books which I know well, I found it very interesting and enjoyable to read more about his life in Burma and the places where he worked, some of which I had visited on my trip. I also found it interesting, but chilling, to read about the parallels between "Animal Farm" and "1984" and the military dictatorship in Burma. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone thinking of visiting Burma.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent travel book 25 Nov. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was exactly the book I needed to read after a recent trip to Burma, not so much for the Orwellian thread, interesting as that is, but for the insights Larkin provides to life in Myanmar. I wanted to continue travelling with her instead of closing the book, and immediately ordered up 'Everything is broken'.

I was rather concerned that even if names were changed it would be very easy to identify almost all of the people she speaks with. Clearly Larkin is very professional and she must have been certain that publication of 'Finding George Orwell in Burma' would not result in any repercussions for people who had trusted her with their opinions. However, I found it difficult to understand how the backgrounds of those contributors could have been changed sufficiently to protect them without entirely altering the context that characterises and sometimes validates their stories. I'm not a journalist, doubtless Larkin followed an accepted level of protective alteration.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Hemmingway, but still an interesting read 30 Dec. 2014
Interesting book, and I do like the way she interweaves Orwells 'Burmese Days' as well as Animal Farm and 1984 into the journey.
My main concern (as has been brought up previously) is that having travelled extensively in Burma; you can identify the various peo-ple within each location, sufficient to make me worry about further repression for an already down trodden people.
I have already partaken in a partial retrace of Orwells steps as my father was in the Burmese Police during the same period, and gave me interesting insight into both the people and locations used by the military.
Worth a read, but found the flowery writing a little jarring. Hemmingway she is not.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The real burma
Superb account of the real people of Burma, running alongside an elegant search for more george orwell - fantastic read
Published 1 month ago by Bobby j
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting read after my recent trip to Burma.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs E short
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight in to Orwell's life and a true impression ...
Great insight in to Orwell's life and a true impression of life in Burma. Brilliant read and I must read for anyone who has visited the country or is planning on visiting.
Published 2 months ago by Steven Downs
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Insightful !!
Published 3 months ago by Jan.Jan
5.0 out of 5 stars The most wonderfully informative read for a long time - so incredibly...
The most wonderfully informative read for a long time - so incredibly interesting and put across in a wonderful way. Not at all heavy reading. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Cool Cooks
5.0 out of 5 stars an eye opener
Having decided to travel to Burma (Myanmar); and armed with an interest in George Orwell, this book fell into my lap as a book by an unknown author (to me) that might be worth... Read more
Published 11 months ago by C. J. Boorman
5.0 out of 5 stars Orwell in Burma, Emma Larkin
A very well-researched and compelling read which has both literary and socio-political interest. The two are marvellously intertwined as the author weaves her way in and out of a... Read more
Published on 21 April 2013 by owen
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
I bought this book to learn about Burma before my planned visit. It provides detailed coverage of life in many parts of the country and the link with Orwell is well developed. Read more
Published on 20 April 2013 by JM
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