How convenient that details of J.K. Rowling’s first book for adults have been announced just as I am working on October 2012 titles. The Casual Vacancy (ISBN 9780316228534. $21) will be out in October from Little, Brown, and I’m intrigued to see it . (So are a lot of other folks; this morning it already ranked in Amazon’s Top Ten.) The plot echoes the tried-and-true theme of small-town secrets. Barry Fairweather of charming little Pagford has just died, leaving a vacancy on the town council that leads to a pitched battle that reveals long-hidden conflicts between rich and poor, parent and child, teacher and student, husband and wife. What’s refreshing here is that Rowling didn’t opt to do adult fantasy. And whatever critical readers think of her writing (sometimes baggy, which an intent editor could have addressed, but I guess the Harry Potter series got too big too fast), her great strength is in creating sympathetic characters that are recognizably imperfect and conflicted. So I have hopes for Rowling’s adult fiction‚ though a lot less faith that I’ll get to see the book before publication!
Rowling Plays It Straight
By April 16, 2012on