1984 has become very popular in 2017.
On Wednesday, the Signet Classics edition of George Orwell’s novel went to number one on Amazon’s best seller list after Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” quote. Now, that same edition is sold out and Signet has ordered a 75,000-copy reprint of the classic dystopian novel, a spokesperson from Signet, a division of Penguin Random House, tells EW.
According to the publishing house, the reprint was ordered “earlier this week and [Signet] anticipates putting through additional reprints quickly.” The spokesperson added that “since the inauguration, sales for George Orwell’s 1984 have increased by +9,500%” and that “to date, there are close to 30 million copies of 1984 in print.” The book was originally published in 1948.
Conway, Donald Trump’s senior advisor, used the phrase “alternative facts” in a Jan. 22 interview on Meet the Press. “You’re saying it’s falsehoods,” she said to host Chuck Todd, who asked her why the White House Press Secretary was lying about the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration. “And they’re giving—Sean Spicer, our press secretary—gave alternative facts.”
On CNN’s Reliable Sources, Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty likened the term to 1984, saying “Alternative facts is a George Orwell phrase.” In the dystopian novel, Orwell creates the concept of “Newspeak,” the language of Oceania which is designed to limit the freedom of thought. Orwell writes that the language “was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum.” Another key 1984 word is “doublethink,” which “means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
Although hard copies of the book are sold out on Amazon, readers can still order the Kindle edition or a used copy, and the book is still available at other online book sellers, including Barnes and Noble.