Down and Out in Paris and London
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As a struggling writer in his twenties, Orwell lived as a down-and-out among the poorest members of society. In this, his early memoir, Orwell recalls with vivid clarity his time working as a penniless dishwasher in Paris, pawning clothes to buy a day's worth of bread and wine, sleeping in bug-infested bunks, trading survival skills and cigarette butts with fellow tramps, and trudging between London's workhouse spikes for a few hours' sleep and tea. With all of the sensitivity and compassion that Orwell is known and loved for, he exposed the hardships of poverty and gave readers an unprecedented look at life lived on the fringes of society.