by Stefani Priskos
Today is the day, now is the time… to come out of the closet. Or the cupboard, rather—the cupboard under the stairs! As any self-respecting Harry Potter fan knows (whether in or out of the cupboard) this today marks the beginning of a new era with the release of J.K. Rowling’s first novel since the culmination of the Harry Potter series in the summer of 2007. For fans still suffering from “post-Potter depression,” Rowling’s new book, The Casual Vacancy, could be the magical antidote they have been looking for. For others who perhaps were not the author’s biggest fans before,
I shun you this could be a fresh opportunity to give her another chance from a new perspective. Unlike the seven-book young adult series that trademarks Rowling’s career, her new novel is geared towards an older and perhaps more thoughtful audience. It is rumored, however, that while the book may not contain the spells and potions of her first seven, it retains her clever humor and British wit and charm. Rowling admitted that she does not expect everyone to like her new book, but she felt the need to write it, and that she is happy she did.
The press release for The Casual Vacancy reads as follows:
- “When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…. Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.”
Opinions vary on whether Rowling has made a good decision in publishing a new book; some people are very excited, others are afraid that she will forever be in the shadow of the Potter legacy. Nevertheless, Rowling has hinted at plans for several other books—one for younger children, and another for adults. Personally, I cannot wait to see what she has in store!
A copy of The Casual Vacancy has been requested for purchase by the Barnard library.
Stefani Priskos is a first-year at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.