Reading alternatives


Make text smaller Make text larger


“1984,” “The Plot Against America,” other dystopian visions top bestseller lists


Photos



  • Photo: Chris Protopapas, via flickr




  • Photo: RA.AZ, via flickr




  • Photo: Karen Horton, via flickr




  • Photo: Luke McKernan, via flickr



In the week after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, independent bookstores in Manhattan have noticed an increase in sales of novels with totalitarian themes, among them George Orwell’s “1984,” Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here” and Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America.”

Orwell’s dystopian classic sold out last week on Amazon after Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, characterized provable falsehoods as “alternative facts, while Roth’s novel, published in 2004, presents an alternative history in which FDR lost the 1940 presidential election to anti-Semitic candidate Charles Lindberg, the famed aviator.

The general manager of Shakespeare & Co., on Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side, Kenneth Tan, said the bookshop is boosting its stocks of both books to meet demand. The store sold about 10 copies each of “1984” and “Plot Against America” recently. Four stores — Westsider Books, 192 Books, Book Book and Book Culture on Columbus Avenue — have all sold out of “1984.” Three of these stores have also sold out of “It Can’t Happen Here.”

Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and U.S. Rep. John Lewis’s memoir, “Walking with the Wind” have all been selling briskly. Lewis’s book, which documents his experiences in the Civil Rights Movement, sold out on Amazon after Trump attacked him on Twitter over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, saying that Lewis is “all talk, no action.” Trump’s tweet followed Lewis’ claim that Trump was not “legitimate president” given allegations of Russian meddling in the elections.

While Orwell’s “1984” sits at number one on Amazon’s bestsellers list, Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here,” Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” about a future society where books are outlawed and burned, Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and Orwell’s “Animal Farm” have all risen on the list as well.

Trump’s own “The Art of The Deal,” published 30 years ago, is number 24 on the list.

In addition to the rise of political and dystopian books on Bestsellers lists, another piece of literature that has gained in popularity since the inauguration: sitting at number 37 on Amazon’s list is the U.S. Constitution.




Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments



MUST READ NEWS

Image Four openings and a funeral
The 38-year-old Westside Market is leaving its cozy if cramped space on Broadway and 77th Street, but the grocer plans to open four new Manhattan stores
Image Forks and fashion
SVA students created offbeat designs made out of silverware, pennies and tea bags and for a Madison Avenue BID event
Image Measuring bike safety
Stats show drop in East Side cyclist and pedestrian injuries
Image Raising the roof at Chapin
The elite East Side girls’ school has embarked on its second skyward expansion in 10 years to fulfill its academic mission and keep students “under one roof”...
Image A monumental achievement
A century after women won the right to vote in New York and Central Park will get its first monument dedicated to real women.

VIDEOS



E-NEWSLETTER

Sign up to get our newsletter emailed to you every week!

  • Enter your email address in the box below.
  • Select the newsletters you would like to subscribe to.
  • Click the 'SUBSCRIBE' button.

* indicates required
Neighborhood Newsletters


MOST READ

Local News
Making a Splash in Times Square
  • Nov 15, 2017
City Arts News
Contemplating the divine
  • Nov 17, 2017
Local News
Four openings and a funeral
  • Nov 17, 2017
Local News
Up to code
  • Nov 15, 2017
Local News
Raising the roof at Chapin
  • Nov 13, 2017
Local News
Messing with my mom’s legacy
  • Nov 14, 2017
Local News
Measuring bike safety
  • Nov 14, 2017
Columns\Op-Ed
By any other name
  • Nov 15, 2017
Local News
When bad drugs do good
  • Nov 14, 2017
City Arts News
The long road to a masterpiece
  • Nov 15, 2017

MOST COMMENTED