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‘Julia’ by Sandra Newman is a Feminist Retelling of 1984

Though Newman sticks with the worldbuilding Orwell planned in 1949, not adding post-’84 developments like smartphones, home assistants, or the internet (though these actually do seem to play the surveillance role that Orwell assigned to the telescreens), she embroiders the edges of the original WWII-flavored vision with myriad amusing flourishes (and if you remember anything about 1984, you remember that amusing is not one of the adjectives that comes to mind). For example, though Julia is still a mechanic, working on the machines of Fiction, her first job at the Ministry of Truth was producing porno novels for proles, e.g., Inner Party Sinners: ‘My Telescreen is Broken, Comrade!’ Read more

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