Indiana State University Newsroom



Orwell biographer lends insight into ‘1984’ production

January 4, 2016

No stranger to the press worldwide, Indiana State University Professor Michael Shelden has again made the headlines for his research and writing.

Advance publicity for a new British production of George Orwell's "1984" includes extensive commentary in the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times from Shelden, who is the author's authorized biographer.

After its January opening in L.A., the production moves to the East Coast in March. Shelden wrote the program notes for Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., which will be performing the play.

"The production should make quite a splash in D.C. because of all the controversy about government surveillance, and I'm proud that a big acting company in the nation's capital would ask someone from Indiana State to provide an essay explaining the play to their audiences," he said.

Shelden recently participated in the Drue Heinz Lecture Series in which he talked about his research and book, "Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill," at locations in five major cities, including Chicago's Newberry Library and New York City's Abigail Adams Smith Auditorium and Philadelphia's Union League last spring.

Shelden was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1991 and won the National Author Winner for the 2014 Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award for his body of work, which includes numerous feature articles for leading newspapers and five biographies, including "Orwell: The Authorized Biography," "Mark Twain, Man in White: The Grand Adventure of His Final Years" and "Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill."

For 15 years, Shelden worked as a writer at London's equivalent of the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, which at the time had a circulation of one million. All of his articles were written in British English, oftentimes under deadline pressure.

Shelden's latest project, due out this year, is on Herman Melville during the writing of "Moby Dick."

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Los Angeles Times article: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-ca-cm-1984-play-broad-stage-20160103-story.html

Program notes for the Shakespeare Theatre Company: http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Season-Plays-2015-2016-Geoffrey-ebook/dp/B011A485N8/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451921934&sr=1-3

Story Highlights

Advance publicity for a new British production of George Orwell's "1984" includes extensive commentary in the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times from Michael Shelden, who is the author's authorized biographer.

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