Sara Keating: George Orwell homages pack a similar punch to prescient originals

Sandra Newman’s Julia and Adam Biles’ Beasts of England continue to illuminate timeless human conundrums

A mural depicting George Orwell in Belgrade, Serbia, reads: ‘Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’. Picture: Getty

In the establishing chapters of Sandra Newman’s Julia, a retelling of George Orwell’s eternally prescient novel 1984, the book’s eponymous protagonist gazes out of the 13th floor window of the Ministry of Truth, assessing the view of the bombed-out capital of the country formerly known as Great Britain.

The landscape “seems more crater than city,” she observes of the panorama.

“A little chunk of the view was obstructed by the massive telescreen, whose moving pictures ...