SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE
'I loved this book... An exhilarating romp through Orwell's life and times' Margaret Atwood
'Outside my work the thing I care most about is gardening' George Orwell
In 1936 Orwell planted roses at his cottage in Hertfordshire. Over eighty years later Rebecca Solnit encounters them, and is inspired to explore a different side to the great writer and activist to the one we know so well.
Following his journey from the coal mines of England to taking up arms in the Spanish Civil War, and his explosive critiques of Stalin and authoritarianism, here Solnit finds a more hopeful Orwell. And in her dialogue with the author and his fascination with nature, she makes unexpected connections with the colonial legacy of the flower garden, discovers photographer Tina Modotti's extraordinary roses, and reveals Stalin's strange obsession with growing lemons in impossibly cold conditions.
A fresh reading of a towering figure of the twentieth century, Orwell's Roses finds solace and solutions for the political and environmental challenges we face today, and is a remarkable reflection on pleasure, beauty, and joy as acts of resistance.
'Luminous...It is efflorescent, a study that seeds and blooms, propagates thoughts, and tends to historical associations' New Statesman'A genuinely extraordinary mind, whose curiosity, intelligence and willingness to learn seem unbounded' Irish Times
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