The classics of George Orwell will be published on Substack | George Orwell

Despite his death in 1950, George Orwell became the last author to join Substack, following in the footsteps of Salman Rushdie and George Saunders.

The Orwell Foundation is set to launch Orwell Daily, which will convey Orwell’s work via an email subscription platform.

Orwell Daily will begin on October 28 with the writer’s memoir “Down and Out” in Paris and London. Published in 1933, this was Orwell’s first complete published work. It started in Paris, where Orwell worked as a dishwasher at the X Hotel, then moved to London where the author comments on everything from diet to language.

Newsletter subscribers will receive about 1,000 to 1,500 words from the writers each day. The excerpts are drawn from the original chapters, said Jeremy Wakeley, editor of the Orwell Daily, although some of the longer chapters will “pause at the slightest intrusive moment”.

The emails are described as a five to ten minute “coffee break” on Substack. It is estimated that it will take about 50 days to review the first book, with the second series announced before Down and Out in Paris and London concludes.

Orwell Daily is free, but there is also a paid option that allows subscribers to join a community and comment on each post.

Jean Seton, director of the Orwell Foundation, said that the previous dramas of Down and Out in Paris and London and Nineteen Eighty-Four had shown that “Orwell’s books often fall into perfect anthologies – each fully composed”.

“One of the things we’ve seen with other recent sequels on Substack is that the format enables people to read side-by-side and start conversations about books, whether that’s with friends or through the app and social media,” she added. “It’s kind of a book club, where the convenience of it comes straight to your inbox. We also want to get people to read and discuss books themselves rather than Orwell, the cultural reference point affixed. We want to show how much more that is for him as a writer.”

The sequence will coincide with the launch of the Orwell Foundation’s new writing award. The Homelessness Reporting Award, in partnership with the Center for the Impact of Homelessness, joins the Foundation’s other awards, for political fiction, political writing and journalism and the Exposing Social Evils in Britain Award.

Other authors who have used Substack include Rushdie, who joined in 2021, and has arranged his short novel The Seventh Wave on the website for paid subscribers. He has also posted free content that includes movie reviews, stories of encounters with other novelists, and answered readers’ questions.

In his first letter, Rushdie wrote that “the aim in doing so is to form a closer relationship with the readers, speaking freely, without any intermediaries or guards.”

Fight Club author Chuck Palanyuk also joined Substack in 2021, serializing his book Greener Pastures for subscribers. Others with newsletters on the platform include singer Patti Smith and Israeli writer Etgar Keret.

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