J.K. Rowling recently spoke with The Guardian about her new book, The Casual Vacancy, which has a release date of September 27th. She also spoke about her future books. The author of the article, Decca Aitkenhead, has actually had the opportunity to read Jo’s new book and absolutely loves it. When she tells Jo this, Jo is ecstatic to hear it.
Decca says that this new adult novel is different in every respect from the Harry Potter books, except for the location where the concept came to Jo… on an airplane of all places. Harry Potter came to Jo while on a train, so it appears that moving vehicles are good luck for her.
The story takes place in Pagford a village in the West Country of England and revolves around the characters’ lives that live there, including politics, drug use, prostitution, comedy, and more.
Jo explains, “How many of us are able to expand our minds beyond our own personal experience? So many people, certainly people who sit around the cabinet table, say, ‘Well, it worked for me’ or, ‘This is how my father managed it’ – these trite catchphrases – and the idea that other people might have had such a different life experience that their choices and beliefs and behaviours would be completely different from your own seems to escape a lot of otherwise intelligent people. The poor are discussed as this homogeneous mash, like porridge. The idea that they might be individuals, and be where they are for very different, diverse reasons, again seems to escape some people.
“They talk about feckless teenage mothers looking for a council flat. Well, how tragic is it that that’s what someone regards as the height of security or safety? What would your life be like if that’s the only possible path you can see for yourself? But I don’t know if that’s a question some people ask themselves. There has been a horribly familiar change of atmosphere [since the 2010 election], it feels to me a lot like it did in the early 90s, where there’s been a bit of redistribution of benefits and suddenly lone-parent families are that little bit worse off. But it’s not a ‘little bit’ when you’re in that situation. Even a tenner a week can make such a vast, vast difference. So, yeah, it does feel familiar. Though I started writing this five years ago when we didn’t have a coalition government, so it’s become maybe more relevant as I’ve written.”
The book is filled with comedy, especially when it comes to the different classes of people in the books.
“We’re a phenomenally snobby society,” Rowling nods, “and it’s such a rich seam. The middle class is so funny, it’s the class I know best, and it’s the class where you find the most pretension, so that’s what makes the middle classes so funny.”
During the interview, she mentions that the most starstruck moment she ever had was meeting President Barack Obama.
She also mentions that her next book will be another childrens book.
A video of part of her interview is online here.
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