Sandra Newman: Reimagining 1984 from Julia's Perspective

At the behest of George Orwell's estate, the acclaimed novelist has brilliantly recast his most famous work.


My guest today is Sandra Newman, my favorite novelist currently at work in America—I highly recommend her recent works The Men and The Heavens. Her new book is titled Julia and it's a retelling of George Orwell's 1984 from the point of view of Winston Smith's lover who, as you probably recall, is ironically a member of the Anti-Sex League.

I don't even know how to do this novel justice—it's a stylistic and conceptual tour de force that updates and expands Orwell's universe in deeply profound, disturbing, and highly contemporary ways. We talk about the book's origins—the Orwell estate asked Newman to write it—and why 1984 continues to resonate with readers. We discuss the role of literature in a world where television and movies command greater audience attention and past controversies involving Newman's writing.

It's a wide-ranging conversation and one of my very favorite episodes of this podcast.

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