he Edinburgh International Book Festival has been a highlight of my August activities for the last five years, but this year I’m not here to talk about my books.
Last year, the publisher Harvill Secker (part of Penguin Random House) invited me to write an introduction to a little pocket book entitled “Orwell on Truth”.
I wrote about my introduction to George Orwell’s writing in my childhood memoir “This Boy” (which ironically won the Orwell Prize) and contributing to this compilation was a great honour.
At the Edinburgh Festival I had an hour’s conversation with Allan Little ( the BBC reporter and special correspondent) before an audience of 700 in the newly extended Baillie Gifford Tent.
With the emergence of terms such as “alternative facts and fake news” in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, there is renewed interest in George Orwell’s work and, in particular his struggle to defend objective truth against those who placed power above the law or would sacrifice individual liberty to a political party’s interpretation of the collective good.
Allan was a great interviewer and we are keen to revive the spirit of the ‘Two Ronnies’ by repeating our Edinburgh performance of the “Two Al(l)ans” elsewhere.