From the book jacket:
A brave and revelatory reconnaissance of modern Burma, one of the world's grimmest and most shuttered police states, using as its compass the life and work of George Orwell, the man many in Burma call simply "the prophet".
In one of the most intrepid political travelogues in recent memory, Emma Larkin tells of the year she spent traveling through Burma using the life and work of George Orwell as her compass......Using Orwell enables her to show, effortlessly, the weight of the colonial experience on Burma today, the ghosts of which are invisible and everywhere. More important, she finds that the path she charts leads her to the people who have found ways to somehow resist the soul-crushing effects of life in this most cruel police state. And George Orwell's moral clarity, hatred of injustice, and keen powers of observation serve as the author's...
Beyond the Book
Burma is located in South East Asia, west of Thailand, and borders Thailand, China, India, Laos and the Indian Ocean. It's total land area is about the size of Texas.
During much of the 19th Century and early 20th century, it was administered as a province of India by the British. In 1948 it attained independence and is now ruled by a military junta who have refused to give up control despite a landslide win for the National League for Democracy in 1990 (since which time the party's leader has been under almost constant arrest). In 1989 the junta announced that the country's name had been changed to Myanmar, but this not approved by any legislative body (because there isn't one!)