Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008 - Literary Collections - 308 pages
24 Reviews
George Orwell was first and foremost an essayist. From his earliest published article in 1928 to his untimely death in 1950, he produced an extraordinary array of short nonfiction that reflected--and illuminated--the fraught times in which he lived and wrote. "As soon as he began to write something," comments George Packer in his foreword to this new two-volume collection, "it was as natural for Orwell to propose, generalize, qualify, argue, judge--in short, to think--as it was for Yeats to versify or Dickens to invent."

"Facing Unpleasant Facts "charts Orwell's development as a master of the narrative-essay form and unites classics such as "Shooting an Elephant" with lesser-known journalism and passages from his wartime diary. Whether detailing the horrors of Orwell's boyhood in an English boarding school or bringing to life the sights, sounds, and smells of the Spanish Civil War, these narrative essays weave together the personal and the political in an unmistakable style that is at once plainspoken and brilliantly complex.

  

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Review: Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays

User Review  - Mike Polizzi - Goodreads

The opening essays to this collection are among the best writing I've ever come across- to the point that I wondered what happened to the early Orwell. After the war time journal entries the ... Read full review

Review: Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays

User Review  - Andy - Goodreads

This was a really great collection of essays. Lot's of what Orwell writes about is relevant for modern society. It's also a good collection of essays about pre-war and wartime Europe. As an American ... Read full review

Contents

The Spike
1
Clink
11
A Hanging
23
Shooting an Elephant
29
Bookshop Memories
38
Marrakech
44
My Country Right or Left
52
Wartime Diary
59
Revenge Is Sour
184
The Case for the Open Fire
189
The Sporting Spirit
193
In Defence of English Cooking
198
A Nice Cup of Tea
201
The Moon Under Water
205
In Front of Your Nose
209
Some Thoughts on the Common Toad
214

England Your England
109
Dear Doktor GoebbelsYour British Friends Are Feeding Fine
139
Looking Back on the Spanish War
143
As I Please 1
167
As I Please 2
172
As I Please 3
175
As I Please 16
180
A Good Word for the Vicar of Bray
219
Why I Write
224
How the Poor Die
232
Such Such Were the Joys
245
Notes
296
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

GEORGE ORWELL (1903–1950) served with the Imperial Police in Burma, fought with the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War, and was a member of the Home Guard and a writer for the BBC during World War II. He is the author of many works of nonfiction and fiction.

GEORGE PACKER is a staff writer for the New Yorker and author of The Assassin's Gate: America in Iraq and other works. He lives in Brooklyn.

 

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