So much has been said and written about this phenomenonal woman. Most of it though, concentrates on her wealth, the rugs to riches side of her story and the record-breaking sales of her books.
The conditional nature of the media’s love towards this magnificent writer is beginning to show ever so blatantly with the release of her latest novel for adults titled “Casual Vacancy”. Released only today the 27th of September, it has already managed to attract the critics’ attention. It’s not even been out for a day and Casual Vacancy has been called, “dull”, “angrily political”, “definitely not a book for children”, (the author has time and again declared it is an adult book, why it is so hard for people to get over with this, is beyond me). In short, “too dull, too political, ” too angry, too close to reality?
Could it be that the media are up to no good? Could it be that trashing a mega-successful writer is easier and more attention-grabbing rather than actually delving deeper to get the meaning of their story?
A writer like J.K. Rowling who became a universal household name, because of her ability to create a believable parallell world, and one that our children are safe in, surely deserves more.
Allow me to use a couple of excerpts to prove my point:
1st: The Times UK 27/09/2012
“Perhaps it’s no bad thing to be reminded that novels might, once again, do more than simply entertain us.”
2nd: The Times UK April 2010:
“Nobody who has ever experienced the reality of poverty could say “it’s not the money, it’s the message”. When your flat has been broken into, and you cannot afford a locksmith, it is the money. When you are two pence short of a tin of baked beans, and your child is hungry, it is the money. When you find yourself contemplating shoplifting to get nappies, it is the money. If Mr Cameron’s only practical advice to women living in poverty, the sole carers of their children, is “get married, and we’ll give you £150″, he reveals himself to be completely ignorant of their true situation. How many prospective husbands did I ever meet, when I was the single mother of a baby, unable to work, stuck inside my flat, night after night, with barely enough money for life’s necessities? Should I have proposed to the youth who broke in through my kitchen window at 3 am? Half a billion pounds, to send a message – would it not be more cost-effective, more personal, to send all the lower-income married people flowers.”
So, Ms. Allison Pearson of the Daily Telegraph, when my kids ask me in the future what I make of J.K. Rowling and whether they should read the “Casual Vacancy”, I’ll quote to them her statement above. Like I’ve quoted to everyone who matters to me. It won’t be difficult to find an answer for my kids. And if I did my job right, they’ll read the Casual Vacancy when they’re supposed to. And they’ll draw the right conclusions.
What is utterly annoying is how easily and quickly people tend to forget. This woman created a reality that was often harsh, cruel but one which our children could understand and relate to. I don’t believe there was any sugar-coating as to how Harry Potter was brought up. I also don’t seem to remember there being a magical wand to save Harry Potter from his destiny. Perhaps, in the end it is the adults who have trouble accepting the reality.
We need strong political messages in our literature to shake us from the numbness of over-consumerism and individuality. We need smacks of social awakening to remind us that we can make more of this life rather than earn more. We need to regain purpose in the way we lead our lives. In the way we work. We need the people who have the knowledge, the capacity, the talent to urge us to do so.
Surely, a woman with means like Ms. Rowling has better things to do than urge people to live their lives better. Surely. Yet she insists. That’s admirable.
And that is why I LOVE J.K.Rowling.