J.K. Rowling’s new book is about a transphobic character getting doxxed : NPR


JK Rowling has publicly said that her new book was not based on her own life, although some of the events in the story happened to her while she was writing it.

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JK Rowling has publicly said that her new book was not based on her own life, although some of the events in the story happened to her while she was writing it.

Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

JK Rowling, who became known as the author of the Harry Potter series, is known for writing about magical subjects and fantasy worlds. But her latest book bears more than a passing resemblance to reality — and, critics say, not in a good way.

The inky heart is the sixth installment in Rowling’s thriller series Cormoran strike, which she wrote under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The 1,024-page tome began to frown as soon as it hit stores on Tuesday.

Observers noted that in recent years the plot seems to reflect Rowling’s own experience of taking heat and losing fans for expressing transphobic views. Rowling has publicly said that the book was not based on her own life, although some of the events that take place in the story happened to her while she was writing it.

“Although I have to say when it happened to me, those who had already read the book in manuscript form… [like] – are you clairvoyant?’ Rowling wrote in a Q&A on Galbraith’s website. “I wasn’t clairvoyant, I — yeah, it was just one of those weird twists and turns. Sometimes life imitates art more than you’d like.”

In the book, a popular artist is harassed for her opinion

The book tells the story of Edie Ledwell, a popular cartoonist who, according to the official description, is “persecuted by a mysterious online figure” — and eventually found dead — after her cartoon was criticized for being racist, proficient, and transphobic (at least partly about a bit with “a hermaphrodite worm”, Rolling Stone Reports).

“The book clearly focuses on ‘social justice fighters’ and suggests that Ledwell was the victim of a masterfully plotted, politically fueled hate campaign against her,” the magazine continues, adding that the character is being sedated — with “pictures of her home.” plastered on the internet” – and is threatened with rape and death because of her opinion.

Parts of the story seem to reflect Rowling’s experience

Rowling has expressed her own views in recent years, especially with regard to the transgender community.

She faced backlash in 2019 for publicly support Maya Forstater, a researcher who lost her job due to transphobic tweets. The following year, Rowling posted several controversial tweets, including an op-ed that mocked the term “people who menstruate” (“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” she tweeted. “Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”), and published a lengthy statement expressing concern about “the ramifications of current transactivism”.

Rowling said in November she has received death threats. She also publicly accused three activists of doxxing her when they posted photos of herself holding pro-trans rights signs outside her home in Scotland, “positioning herself carefully to ensure our address was visible,” she said.

The activists, who had demonstrated in honor of the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, later deleted the photo and deactivated their accounts due to the amount of transphobic reactions they had received online. The Scottish police later investigated the so-called doxxing and determined that no crimes had been committed (in particular, Rowling’s home is a popular tourist attraction, as Them points out).

Critics say the book is selfish and “beyond parody”

News of Rowling’s book release has taken Twitter by storm, even down to dueling hashtags – #ISandWithJKRowling and #ICantStandJKRowling.

Critics have denounced the book as: “hilarious self persecution”” and “beyond parody,” with what draw attention to the problems in the real world confronted by transgender people, who mock the length (“500 pages longer than Dune300 pages longer than Infinite joke and 100 pages longer than the Bible,” wrote one) and call people boycott her work.

Lark Malakai Gray, co-host of the queer Harry Potter podcast “The Gayly Prophet” told NPR via email that he finds the situation “deeply embarrassing” for Rowling.

“She’s published a 1,000-page fanfiction where she’s the victim — the kind of behavior you’d expect from a surly teen, not a mature adult with immense wealth and power,” he added. “I have no idea what she was expecting, but it was an absolute joy to see the internet filled with jokes about the book, after all the damage she’s done to my community over the years.”

Rowling’s transphobic comments have lost her many fans

Rowling’s attitude has alienated many in her fanbase — including a host of LGBTQ people — as well as a slew of prominent Harry Potter Cast Members: Actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are among those who have condemned her comments and expressed support for the trans community.

Rowling was noticeably absent from the Harry Potter 20th anniversary special, an actual reunion for much of the franchise’s cast and crew that aired on New Year’s Day 2022. She told Graham Norton’s podcast “Radio Show” on Saturday that she had been invited to participate in the special, but chose not to come because she saw it as “more about the movies than about the books.”

In that same interview, she emphasized that she had written her new book before the events of the past year.

“I said to my husband, ‘I think everyone will see this as a reaction to what happened to me,’ but it really wasn’t,” she said. “The first draft of the book was ready the moment certain things happened.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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