Literature

Why is Orwell's 1984 Still Relevant Today?

On the 70th anniversary of George Orwell's 1984 his son remembers the man behind the book
It is the 70th anniversary of the publication of arguably the most famous and influential book written in English in the 20th century, 1984. Since it was published on June 8th 1949 it has never been out of print and its ideas are part of political discussions today.  Orwell died only a few months after the book was published, leaving behind a book which has captured imaginations decades later and a new term, "Orwellian."  He also left behind his adopted son, Richard Blair.  He shared his memories of his father with the BBC.

Discussing the impact of the book and why sales of the book shot up when Donald Trump was inaugurated as the president of the United States are Professor Jean Seaton of the Orwell Foundation and Dorian Lynskey, author of The Ministry Of Truth, a new book about the afterlife of 1984.

(IMAGE: Silhouette of the statue of writer George Orwell by the artist Martin Jennings, outside BBC New Broadcasting House in London. It is seen here overlooked by CCTV cameras, echoing Orwell's line "Big Brother is watching you" from the novel 1984 CREDIT: BBC)
Why Nineteen Eighty-Four still matters
It's 70 years since George Orwell published the dystopian classic which introduced us to Big Brother.

Mia Couto: Growing up in Beira, with Africa on the other side of the street

"All my books are about a question of plural identities"
Mia Couto is one of Mozambique's most noted authors and winner of literary prizes - an international jury at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair named his first novel one of the best African books of the 20th century.

Couto grew up in the coastal city of Beira, which he describes as being a special place because Africans had not been pushed out of the city as they had in other colonial towns.  

Mia Couto's book 'Mulheres de Cinzas' has recently been published in English translation. He spoke to Newsday's Shaimaa Khalil.

(Photo: Mia Couto in 2015. Credit: Getty Images)