It’s often difficult when reading books in series to wait for the next instalment, but some books stick in your mind more than others, and the long wait for new releases can often take longer for more anticipated books.
When I head That J. K Rowling was so busy with Fantastic Beasts it was affecting her ability to finish Lethal White it made the wait even harder, but the book eventually came and it was fantastic. So today when I saw that the fifth book in the series was already ready, I leapt for joy, though who knows when the actual release date will be!
This week on Twitter, J. K Rowling confirmed that the fifth instalment was finished, and it looks like a chunky read! Sadly there’s no indication of a title, release date, or any other pre-order details yet but we will bring you those as we have them.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 25, 2020
Jo – I hope we can call her that at this stage of our friendship – hasn’t tweeted for a while, and I’d like to think it’s because of the press on to finish the next Strike book, but I’m not so sure given current events…
On the run up to Lethal White there was a Twitter storm about the name of the next instalment of the Robert Galbraith penned Cormoran Strike mysteries, but the Twitter storm this time has been on quite a different subject.
It would be great to skirt around the furore surrounding one of my favourite living authors, but it’s quite difficult when you support trans rights. Although I also think that it’s quite impossible to judge someone on a single tweet on social media. By now many people who are outraged haven’t actually read the original tweet so for the sake of clarity and the absolute truth here it is.
Dress however you please.
Call yourself whatever you like.
Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you.
Live your best life in peace and security.
But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
I’m struggling to drag Rowling over the coals for transphobia based on that tweet, but maybe that isn’t what actually matters. Maybe the problem isn’t what our favourite authors opinions are, but the fact that they can so readily air them today. Back in the 90s and before, how much did you really know about the authors you read about?
Many of the replies to the tweet are people disgusted with what they perceive to be J. K Rowling’s anti-trans stance. A few hours after the tweet, she posted another…
“…if a patent forgery… is believed by so many people, the task of the historian is no longer to discover a forgery. The forgery is being believed. This fact is more important than the circumstance that it is a forgery.”
Hannah Arendt, the Origins of Totalitarianism
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 26, 2020
It’s hard not to feel that this is a response to the outrage and that Rowling herself feels misrepresented.
This blog started as one thing, and ended up making me face a lot of unresolved issues as a fan, but I’ve gone, changed the title and let you run with my ramble anyway. In all truth, I don’t know how Jo feels about trans rights based on a small tweet and single soundbite, and I think Twitter can expose parts of us in a distorted way.
The modern world where we’re expected to sum up life in 140 characters is difficult for many of us, which is why I stick to rambling on here, but maybe it’s time to learn that we are much more than our online persona.
There’s also the practice of separating the artist from their art, something readers have been forced to do as expectations and morals have changed over the years. To continue to enjoy these stories we must reconcile ourselves with how Laura Ingalls Wilder spoke about people of colour, given that she was born during a time when slavery was legal, we have to accept that H. P Lovecraft was a nasty, racist bastard, and we have to decide whether the art transcends the artist.
I’ll certainly be reading anything Rowling publishes in the future, and I’m not ready to throw her to the wolves just yet, and I won’t be forgetting all the good she has added to the world with her stories, her contributions, her charitable donations, and her defence of many, many marginalised people.