A radical new translation of the dystopian classic that influenced George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, introduced by Margaret Atwood
The One State is the perfect society, ruled over by the enlightened Benefactor. It is a city made almost entirely of glass, where surveillance is universal and life runs according to algorithmic rules to ensure perfect happiness. And D-503, the Builder, is the ideal citizen, at least until he meets I-330, who opens his eyes to new ideas of love, sex and freedom.
A foundational work of dystopian fiction, inspiration for both Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Huxley’s Brave New World, WE is a book of radical imaginings – of control and rebellion, surveillance and power, machine intelligence and human inventiveness, sexuality and desire. It is both a warning and a hope for a better world.
This new edition also includes Ursula K. Le Guin’s essay ‘The Stalin in the Soul’ on the enduring influence of Zamyatin’s masterpiece, and George Orwell’s 1946 review of WE.
“The best single work of science fiction yet written”
Ursula K. Le Guin
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“Two of the most iconic novels in the English language – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell – owe an enormous debt to Zamyatin. We is the ur-text of science-fiction dystopias … the product of a powerful imagination”
wall Street Journal
“The prototype … Zamyatin is a major artist”
new York Times
“A seminal dystopian classic … This timely and thoughtful edition is a fitting tribute to book of lasting influence”
“It is in effect a study of the Machine, the genie that man has thoughtlessly let out of its bottle and cannot put back again”
Yevgeny Zamyatin was a naval engineer and author. He wrote short stories, plays and essays. His masterpiece, WE, was written in 1920-21 and was banned in Russia on the grounds of being ideologically undesirable. It was quickly translated and published in many languages around the world, finally being published in Russia in 1988.
Bela Shayevich is a Soviet-American writer, translator and illustrator. She translated Nobel Prize Winner Svetlana Alexievich’s Second-hand Time.