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Finding George Orwell in Burma Paperback – 3 Mar 2006
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"Well-researched and fascinating...Remarkable."--San Francisco Chronicle
"One of the most unusual travelogues to come out of Southeast Asia in some time, and a truer picture of authoritarianism than anyone has written since, perhaps, Orwell himself."--Mother Jones
"[This] mournful, meditative, appealingly idiosyncratic book is a hybrid, an exercise in literary detection but also a political travelogue that uses Burma to explain Prwell, and Orwell--especially the Orwell of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four--to explain the miseries of present-day Myanmar (as it is now known)."--The New York Times
"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 are horrifyingly alive and well."--Jon Lee Anderson
"Combining literary criticism and solid field reporting, [Larkin] captures the country at its best, and more often, its worst."--San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Emma Larkin is the pseudonym for an American journalist who was born and raised in Asia, studied the Burmese language at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and covers Asia widely in her journalism from her base in Bangkok. Larkin is also the author of No Bad News for the King: The True Story of Cyclone Nargis and Its Aftermath in Burma. She has been visiting Burma for close to ten years.
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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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