President Trump’s arrival into the White House has sparked backlash from the American public as many citizens continue to line the streets and airports with signs denouncing his recent executive orders. However, he has prompted more than just protests: Some of the most well-known dystopian novels have seen a spike in sales since Trump was elected into office this past November.
According to BBC News, several dystopian novels’ sales have increased exponentially, making publishers order thousands of additional copies. One of the titles is Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here, a novel about a charismatic man named Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip who makes empty promises to restore America while actually plummeting the country into a fascist regime. Lewis’ novel has been called “the Donald Trump story” by critics because of its eerie parallels to this past presidential election.
George Orwell’s 1984, a story following a man trying to rebel against a totalitarian, surveillance state, has seen a 9,500% increase in sales. Signet Classics has ordered another 100,000 copies of Orwell’s novels to meet the new demand. The first surge of sales occurred after Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway’s declaration of “alternative facts” in reference to the contested inauguration attendance numbers.
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Also seeing a significant increase in orders are other dystopian classics Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, which similarly tackle compliance with totalitarianism as well as the censorship of free thought. This idea of censorship can be linked to Trump as well, who silenced the EPA on social media not too long ago.
It seems as though there is something to learn from these dystopian classics as they continue to increase in sales not just in the United States, but worldwide. In this case, the truth is not much stranger than fiction.