When Kellyanne Conway went before NBC’s Meet the Press and described statements made by Press Secretary Sean Spicer as “alternative facts,” it had the unintended consequence of driving up sales of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. Since President Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, another dystopian novel has begun climbing the charts: Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale.
Speaking to NPR’s Petra Mayer earlier this week, Atwood’s publicist noted that the book has been “selling strongly for months,” and that sales rose 60 percent in the last year, while “since the election, it's been 200 percent increase in sales.” The book’s publisher has printed 125,000 copies of the novel so far this year, and the book is presently sitting at the 10th position on Amazon’s Best Seller in Books list. George Orwell’s 1984 remains a strong seller, and is currently number six on the list.
Atwood’s novel has become an increasingly relevant read in recent years, about the rise of a totalitarian theocracy that strips away the rights of women in the near future. Atwood first released the novel in 1985 after becoming concerned with the political rhetoric at the time. Hulu will release its adaptation of the novel on April 26th.
Atwood told Reuters that the novel’s premise was viewed as farfetched when it was first released, but that when she wrote it, she made “sure I wasn’t putting anything into it that human beings had not already done somewhere at sometime,” and said on NPR that “At this moment in U.S. history, quite a few people are worried that it's going that way.”