Harry Potter vacancy filled


J.K. Rowling’s novel The Casual Vacancy was released in bookstores on September 27.

J.K. Rowling’s novel The Casual Vacancy was released in bookstores on September 27.
Chloe Kimberlin ’13

From the author that stole the hearts of children across the world comes The Casual Vacancy, an adult novel by J.K. Rowling about the disgruntled citizens of a small English town. The setting of The Casual Vacancy could not be farther from the enchanted world of Hogwarts, nor could its characters be more different from Hogwart’s beloved young witches and wizards. Students at Convent of the Sacred Heart are grappling with the changes in Rowling’s writing style.
Rowling’s enormous success with Harry Potter set high standards for her next book written following the Potter series. Fans wondered if she could ever really live up to the expectations set out for her.  When faced with this task, Rowling put critics to the back of her mind and focused on writing the novel for herself rather than pandering to her audience. She recognizes that most fans want to see more Harry Potter related work from her, but she does away with that idea.
“If you love something, you do want more and more of it, but that’s not the way to produce good work. So as an author, I need to write what I need to write. And I needed to write this book. I don’t think everyone will like the book, but I’m proud of this book,” J.K. Rowling said in an interview with USA Today.
Rowling has shifted her subject matter as well as her audience entirely. Children waiting for another fantasy series will be disappointed by her newest release. The racy scenes and adult-aimed plot content in The Casual Vacancy isolates a large portion of her previous readers.
“I hear it’s for adults, so I’m not planning on reading it. It’ll be quite a while until we’re capable of doing so,” freshman and Harry Potter fan, Brook Remsen said.
The name J.K. Rowling has practically become synonymous with Harry Potter” and Rowling has been largely defined as an author in terms of her Potter success. Harry Potter made a grand total of $7,743,000,000, according to Statisticbrain.com. Following that kind of success and shedding the Harry Potter persona will be a difficult feat for Rowling.
“I seriously doubt she’ll be able to put the label of author of the Harry Potter series behind her,” senior and head of the Literary Club, Holly Geffs said.
Holly is not the only student with this attitude about Rowling’s image. Others believe Rowling does not have a fair chance in the public eye to spread her wings as an author.
“I think people have drawn themselves to Harry Potter and attached themselves so much,” sophomore Mo Narasimhan said. “I don’t think they recognize that the author can write other things. People need to acknowledge that creators of great things can do something different.”
The Casual Vacancy has been on shelves in bookstores since September 27. It’s first week of sales reports 124,603 copies sold, according to The Guardian. Although the majority of reviews have been negative, Rowling seems unfazed by the public response.
“If people don’t like it, well, that’s how it should be, isn’t it? That’s art. It’s all subjective,” Rowling said to USA Today.
– Chloe Kimberlin, Features Editor