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10 October 2023, 18:30

CANCELLED: Sandra Newman on Julia, her radical retelling of 1984

Due to events beyond our control, this event has been cancelled.

Join us for what is sure to be an electrifying conversation with Sandra Newman as she discusses Julia, her radical retelling of George Orwell's masterpiece.

In conversation with S&Co Literary Director, Adam Biles.

Free and open to all. Places limited, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.


It’s 1984 and Julia Worthing works as a mechanic fixing the novel-writing machines in the Fiction Department at the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Under the rule of the Party and its leader, Big Brother, Julia routinely breaks the law but also collaborates with the regime whenever necessary. Everyone lines Julia, she knows how to negotiate a world of constant surveillance, Newspeak, Doublethink and the Thought Police. She’s very good at staying alive.

Julia initiates a relationship with a mid-level worker of the Outer Party called Winston Smith, and before long she is embroiled in a world of sex and secrets that exposes her to dangerous scrutiny from the Ministry of Love.

Seventy-five years after Orwell finished writing his iconic novel, Newman has revitalised the world of Big Brother. Julia is a provocative, prescient novel and cautionary tale for our times, one that explores systems of oppression, state control over women’s bodies and the terror of totalitarianism.


Sandra Newman is the author The Country of Ice Cream Star (longlisted for the Women’s Prize), The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done (shortlisted for Guardian First Book Award), The Heavens and The Men. She is a graduate of the University of East Anglia Creative Writing Programme and divides her time between the US and the UK. She was chosen by the Orwell Estate to pen this retelling and the project has the approval of George Orwell’s son, Richard Blair.

Sandra Newman
“Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.”