George Orwell's estate has approved esteemed author Sandra Newman's feminist retelling of 1984 from the perspective of Julia, the lover of the original novel's primary protagonist Winston Smith. Newman's Julia will hit shelves next year. See you in Room 101!
From The Guardian:
In Julia by Sandra Newman, the incidents of Nineteen Eighty-Four are seen through the woman's eyes. "It was the man from Records who began it, him all unknowing in his prim, grim way, his above-it-all oldthink way. He was the one Syme called 'Old Misery'," writes Newman. "Comrade Smith was his right name, though 'Comrade' never suited him somehow. Of course, if you felt foolish calling someone 'Comrade', far better not to speak to them at all."
Publisher Granta said that Julia understands the world of Oceania "far better than Winston and is essentially happy with her life".[…]
"She has known no other world and, until she meets Winston, never imagined one. She's opportunistic, believing in nothing and caring not at all about politics. She routinely breaks the rules but also collaborates with the regime whenever necessary. She's an ideal citizen of Oceania," said Granta. "But when one day, finding herself walking toward Winston Smith in a long corridor, she impulsively hands him a note – a potentially suicidal gesture – she comes to realise that she's losing her grip and can no longer safely navigate her world."
Orwell's estate said it had been "looking for some time" for an author to tell the story of Smith's lover, and that Newman, who has previously been longlisted for the Women's prize and shortlisted for the Guardian first book award, "proved to be the perfect fit".
image: crop of vintage book cover via Orwell Today