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Peggy Farooqi
Mum of 3 (1994, 1995, 1998)- born in East Germany --lived in UK/ Kent since 1993 -- studied criminology -- love reading / writing / travelling / needlecraft 
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21 January 2014

It was today exactly 64 years ago that George Orwell died in London, and I thought this warrants a little post from me today to pay homage to my literature hero.

1984 was the book which affected me most in my life. 

I was brought up in East Germany, and I think you can have a good guess that this book was not part of the East German school's literature curriculum. I never knew this book existed and first read it after the wall came down in 1990 or 1991. It felt unbelievable physical reaction from me, I was shaking, crying, my head was spinning - something I've never experienced with a book before (and, sorry, never again since, no matter how good the writing is :). I couldn't believe what I was reading, and especially, that this 'Mr Orwell' had written and published in 1945 and described parts of the world I had been living in. I kept thinking 'And he knew all this in 1945??'

Of course, 1984 takes it to the extreme, and don't get me wrong, I was never persecuted and actually had a very happy and sheltered childhood. (Though, of course, we have since learned that the Stasi, the East German Secret Service, did do a lot of horrors and I'm sure many people where unfortunate enough to experience their Room 101 with the Stasi.)

For me, it was more the little things like 'having to be a Party member otherwise you will have a very hard life and never get anywhere really in society' - Yes, that was a reality. Or how the Party re-wrote history to suit themselves and their ideology. My history lessons at school are worth another blog post …

So, I remember my literature hero today. Thanks George.