George Orwell's 1984 continues to influence writers and readers facing authoritarianism, surveillance and the deliberate blurring of truth and lies.
In 2019, journalist George Packer wrote in The Atlantic " It’s almost impossible to talk about propaganda, surveillance, authoritarian politics, or perversions of truth without dropping a reference to 1984. " George Orwell's novel, first published in 1948, remains a powerful resource for writers and readers seeking to understand and challenge the continued threat of totalitarianism to democratic culture. Read memoirs and novels from different periods and cultures—including China, Russia, Iran, Japan as well as Canada and the U.S.--we will explore how authors channel experience and imagination to raise awareness and inspire solidarity in the face of actual, fictional and would-be dictators.
12/17 Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
1/28 The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
2/25 Waiting to Be Arrested at Night by Tahir Hamit Izgil
3/24 The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shofookeh Azar
4/28 The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson