Exploring Burma Through George Orwell A new book explores Myanmar's people and brutal military junta by retracing George Orwell's path through Burma, where he lived as a young man in the 1920s.

Exploring Burma Through George Orwell

Exploring Burma Through George Orwell

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4761169/4761207" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

As a young man, George Orwell worked for the British Imperial Police in Burma. This portrait of the writer dates from the 1940s. Corbis Sygma hide caption

toggle caption
Corbis Sygma

When Eric Arthur Blair was 19 years old -- and hadn't yet picked up his pen name of George Orwell -- he went to the far reaches of the British Empire. He joined the Imperial Police Force in Burma and spent five years there in the 1920s.

He left Burma abruptly and decided to become a writer. Orwell's first novel, Burmese Days, was set in the north of the country. But people in that country say Orwell's best-known works, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, are also about Burma.

Writer Emma Larkin (a pseudonym) has retraced Orwell's path through the southeast Asian nation as a way of exploring the present-day country, its people and its brutal military junta, which has renamed the country Myanmar.

Melissa Block talks with the author of Finding George Orwell in Burma.

Finding George Orwell in Burma
By Emma Larkin

Buy Featured Book

Finding George Orwell in Burma
Emma Larkin

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?