Sandra Newman on Julia, her re-imagining of George Orwell’s 1984

26 October 2023

If you thought life on Airstrip one was tough for Winston Smith, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Because in JULIA, Sandra Newman’s reimagining of Orwell’s nightmare, if men have it hard, you can bet women have it harder. Taking the roughly sketched character of Julia—Winston’s love interest and possible betrayer—Sandra Newman gives her a surname, a history, a life of her own. In short, she breathes a soul into her. And in doing so, not only does she allow readers to revisit 1984 with new eyes but creates a novel that stands tall in its own terrifying pair of jackboots.

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