A Letter From The Publisher: Nov. 28, 1983

Senior Writer Paul Gray was an impressionable high school student when he first encountered Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell's masterwork. "I was frightened by it," Gray recalls. "I think anyone who reads it carries the experience with him for the rest of his life." For this week's cover story, Gray went back to Nineteen Eighty-Four, the other eight major works and the hundreds of essays in the Orwell canon, to write an appreciation of the late British author.

The adjective Orwellian, like Kafkaesque, has come to symbolize some of the horrors of the 20th century,...

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