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George Orwell’s dystopian work 1984, which was first published in 1949, has topped the bestseller list in the USA following the controversy caused by Donald Trump’s advisor Kellyanne Conway, when she used a term that could have come straight from the pages of the novel.
Sales of the book rose sharply after the term ‘alternative facts’ was used by Conway during an interview with NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’ Addressing inaccurate statements about the number of attendees at Trumps’ presidential inauguration ceremony, she said: “You are saying it is a falsehood, and they are giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”
Journalists were quick to pounce on Conway’s use of the expression, criticising it as being ‘Orwellian’ in nature. In his classic novel, Orwell describes how the totalitarian regime of ‘Airstrip One,’ formerly Great Britain, has invented the concept of ‘Newspeak,’ a language promoted by its propaganda department the Ministry of Truth that limits free thought to control its citizens.
The highlighting of Conway’s use of the term and its Orwellian connotations led to 1984 quickly selling out on Amazon in the USA and rising to the top of the site’s bestseller list. Signet Classics publishing, owner of the intellectual property rights of the novel in the US, said that it has reprinted 75,000 copies of the novel, far more than a usual reprint run for the book.