George Orwell's 1984 has shot to the top of bestseller lists because Trump

Emma Haslett
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Publisher Penguin has printed thousands more copies of Orwell's 1984 (Source: Getty)

George Orwell's 1984 may be a perennial classic, but it's been a long time since it was at the top of bestseller lists. Until now, that is...

The novel, first published in 1949, has shot to the top of Amazon's best sellers list - with its rise attributed by many to the Trump administration's use of the phrase "alternative facts".

In fact, so popular has it been, Penguin has had to print another 75,000 copies, according to CNN.

"We put through a 75,000 copy reprint this week," a Pengiun spokesperson told the broadcaster.

"That is a substantial reprint and larger than our typical reprint for '1984'."

Why all the fuss? On Sunday, Trump's special adviser, Kellyanne Conway, told an NBC reporter press secretary Sean Spicer was using "alternative facts", after some of his comments - including ones about the size of the audience at the President's inauguration - were called into question by the media.

That led to many accusing Conway and Spicer of using "newspeak", a phrase invented by Orwell in 1984 to describe a fictional language in which facts are distorted by simply erasing certain words.

In the novel, those in control try to prevent individual thought with "doublethink", described by Orwell as "the power of holding contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them".

Although 1984 is currently the best-selling book in the US, in the UK's version of Amazon's best seller list it is in 13th position.

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