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Last Updated: Monday, 14 June, 2004, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Oprah helps Tolstoy top book list
Oprah Winfrey
Winfrey's book club has given many authors sales boosts
US talk show host Oprah Winfrey has helped Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina top the US bestseller list a week after it was featured on her show.

Winfrey told readers not to "be scared" by the book's 837-page length.

The book then went to number one on the New York Times bestseller list after Winfrey called it "one of the greatest love stories of our time".

A new translation of the 1875 book was bought by Penguin six years ago after being rejected by other publishers.

Classic text

It has also topped bestseller charts in USA Today and Publisher's Weekly.

The book, one of the classics of Russian literature, is about a Russian society woman who puts her marriage in jeopardy by embarking on a passionate affair.

Publisher Penguin has ordered a print run of 961,030 to meet demand for the book.

The novel was chosen for Oprah's Book Club, shown on Winfrey's talk show. Exposure in the book club can add hundreds of thousands to book sales.

The Tolstoy classic beat work by best-selling contemporary authors including Dan Brown, Danielle Steel and Clive Cussler on the lists.

The book was ranked number 54 in the BBC's Big Read competition last year.

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