An American journalist who was born and raised in Asia and has been visiting Burma since the middle 1990s, Larkin recounts the year she spent traveling across Burma, now Myanmar, using the life and work of British author Orwell (1903-50) as her guide. He lived in the country during the 1920s as an officer of the Imperial Police Force, and based his first novel, Burmese Days, on the experience. There is no index or bibliography. Originally published as Secret Histories: A Journey through Burma Today in the Company of George Orwell in 2004 by John Murray, London. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Emma Larkin pursues the young Eric Blair (the pseudonym would come later) all over Burma in Finding George Orwell in Burma, revisiting the places where he lived and worked to reimagine the experiences that helped shape his political outlook and his writing. Her mournful, meditative, appealingly idiosyncratic book is a hybrid, an exercise in literary detection but also a political travelogue that uses Burma to explain Orwell, and Orwell - especially the Orwell of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four - to explain the miseries of present-day Myanmar (as it is now known).