Why J K Rowling's new novel is called 'The Casual Vacancy'

Apr 12, 2012

Billionaire's 'black comedy' centres on a death in the apparently idyllic village of Pagford

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THE FIRST woman to become a billionaire through writing children's novels, J K Rowling, has revealed the title of her first book for adults. It will be called The Casual Vacancy.

The Harry Potter author announced in February that she was writing a novel for adults which would be "very different" to the world of wizards and magic conjured in her wildly popular serial for children.

Publishers Little, Brown describe Rowling's adult book as "blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising".

The plot centres around a man called Barry Fairweather, whose unexpected death shocks the local villagers of Pagford.

"Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war," said Little, Brown.

Rowling said Harry Potter's success had been a "gift" to her, allowing the "freedom to explore new territory".

The Harry Potter books, which follows the adventures of a young wizard as he battles dark magic with his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, have sold 450 million copies since the first instalment, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, was published 13 years ago.

As the BBC reports, when the final book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, came out in 2007, thousands of copies sold in minutes.

The books were made into a collection of blockbuster films starring Daniel Radcliffe as the protagonist and have inspired a plethora of Harry Potter merchandise. A branded theme park, Harry Potter Wizarding World, opened last year at Universal Studios.  

The Casual Vacancy, which will be published worldwide on 27 September, is coming out in hardback, ebook and as an audio download on 27 September. W H Smith is already taking orders.

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Loved Harry Potter books as much as any child, MAGIC!!!   Can't wait for this new one.