Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays

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HMH, Oct 14, 2009 - Literary Collections - 336 pages
Essays by the author of 1984 on topics from “remembrances of working in a bookshop [to] recollections of fighting in the Spanish Civil War” (Publishers Weekly).
George Orwell was first and foremost an essayist, producing throughout his life an extraordinary array of short nonfiction that reflected—and illuminated—the fraught times in which he lived. “As soon as he began to write something,” comments George Packer in his foreword, “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 such classics 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 essays weave together the personal and the political in an unmistakable style that is at once plainspoken and brilliantly complex.
“Best known for his late-career classics Animal Farm and 1984, George Orwell—who used his given name, Eric Blair, in the earliest pieces of this collection aimed at the aficionado as well as the general reader—was above all a polemicist of the first rank. Organized chronologically, from 1931 through the late 1940s, these in-your-face writings showcase the power of this literary form.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

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User Review  - dypaloh - LibraryThing

About his tramping days, George Orwell tells us in the opening essay of Facing Unpleasant Facts, “Already, at eight o’clock in the morning, we were bored…There was nothing to talk about except the ... Read full review


User Review  - Kirkus

The first of two volumes of the British author's essays, compiled by journalist George Packer.Orwell (1903-50) was no Flaubert closeted in aesthetic concentration. He was a vigorous participant in the ... Read full review


As I Please 16
Revenge Is Sour
The Case for the Open Fire
The Sporting Spirit
In Defence of English Cooking
A Nice Cup of Tea
The Moon Under Water
In Front of Your Nose

My Country Right or Left1
Wartime Diary
England Your England1
Dear Doktor GoebbelsYour British Friends Are Feeding Fine
Looking Back on the Spanish War
As I Please 1
As I Please 2
As I Please 3
Some Thoughts on the Common Toad
A Good Word for the Vicar of Bray
Why I Write
How the Poor Die
Such Such Were the Joys1

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About the author (2009)

George Orwell (1903–1950) was born in India and served with the Imperial Police in Burma before joining the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was the author of six novels as well as numerous essays and nonfiction works.

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