This story fills me with joy. J. K. Rowling, known of course for the spectacularly successfully Harry Potter series of novels between 1997 – 2007, and also The Casual Vacancy last year (which I’m in the minority for loving), has released a third book. Why no hype? Why did nobody know of this? It turns out she’s been using a pseudonym.
The Cuckoo’s Calling was quietly published earlier this year in April by an author called ‘Robert Galbraith’. It’s a crime novel and received wide critical acclaim, with many reviewers expressing surprise that a first-time author could produce a work of such quality. It has now been revealed that this was, in fact, the work of J. K. Rowling. Speaking to the Sunday Times, she said:
“Being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without hype and expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”
I find this story incredibly amusing. It’s boosted my already-high respect for Rowling, disproving any cynical claims that she’s “only in it for the money.” I can easily understand why she chose to do this; The Casual Vacancy was, wrongly in my opinion, unfairly judged by a comparison to Harry Potter. Every established artist’s work will be compared to their former work, but this went further. Despite being a very decent book it received harsh criticism by people who, I suspect, were hoping for another Harry Potter. How liberating it must have been for Rowling to escape that! I’m pleased to see The Cuckoo’s Calling getting such positive reviews, which I hope will discredit everyone bent on labeling her a one-hit wonder. I, for one, look forward to reading it!