The news broke forth far and wide across the internet on Thursday morning: JK Rowling has publicly announced that, not only is she writing once more, she is publishing another book. It is not an addendum or addition to the beloved and brilliant Harry Potter series; rather, it is a book for adults released with a new publisher, Little, Brown.
And that, friends, is quite literally all we know at present about the upcoming, undefined-release-date of Rowling’s next work of written art.
But when you’re a multi-billionaire literary genius, all you need do is drop a juicy hint and you’ll have half the world’s literate population salivating over the promise of a new book and scouring the internet for potential clues. For myself, knowing only the above about JK Rowling’s new work (or, as i refer to her in my casual speech (and in my head), “Jo”) was enough to reduce me to jubilant tears, galloping about the room like a gargoyle, and yelping into the phone as i called every potterhead in my contacts list to blubber and shriek for Felix-Felicis-esque ecstasy. A simple tweet from Jo yesterday morning nearly instigated a similar fit of geekish delight: “As you may have heard, I have a new book out later this year. Very different to Harry, although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much.”
As you might have heard. What incredible modesty. Might have heard. I’ve only tweeted, reblogged, posted, and interpretive danced my way around the virtual and physical world for the past 48 hours reveling in this tiny, might-have-heard-of-it story. Good grief, Jo, you’re precious and practically perfect in every way.
I really could not think of a better subject to be musing about on the exact one-year anniversary date of this here blog. My second-ever post was, naturally, about being abroad during the release of the final film – and i hardly believe this will be the last Potter-related ramble to make its way here.
And i know, i know what the trolls in reality and online are about to say: You know it’s not going to be another Harry Potter book, right? (It helps if you say that in your best circa-1984-stereotypical-jock-in-a-high-school-mive-starring-Molly-Ringwald voice). Yes, friend, i am fully aware – and thrilled – that Jo is not only writing again, but writing something other than a Potterworld novel.
Obviously, i love everything to do with Hogwarts and Dumbledore’s Army and the Deathly Hallows (i am, after all, getting a tattoo in two years of the Deathly Hallows mark). And were Jo to suddenly announce she were writing another Potter book, i would be thrilled. There would not be an ounce of hesitation in me; regardless of whether it were a prequel or extended epilogue to the tales already published. She gave us seven beautiful books over the course of some ten-odd years, and while i loved the conclusion to the final book, i know anything else she wrote would be equally superlative.
Because, ultimately, i trust Jo Rowling.
Which is why, in the knowledge that this book is “very different to Harry” i couldn’t be more ecstatic. Of course there won’t be thestral-drawn carriages and thrilling Quidditch matches, but my love for Harry Potter resists the simplicity of being reduced to the clever world Jo created. It is a passion for the writing, for the power of love expressed in the characters, and for the incredible storytelling by which Jo coaxes the reader to fall right into the palm of her verbosity-woven hand. Jo did not write seven children’s books; she created a fantastical, whimsical, believable, and vibrantly stunning world that enticed the readers to enter. Regardless of whether or not this next book is going to be even remotely within the fantasy genre, i truly believe her ability to create a fantasy world (even if that world is present-day [muggle] London or Hammersmith or wherever) will draw me in regardless. Naturally, i will enter the book expecting her dry British wit and clever plot twists, but that is a credit her writing more so than it is to the stories rendered at her hand. I trust Jo Rowling in all of her writing endeavors, and i pledge now to read this book – whatever it might be, whenever it may be released – with a mind free from expectations of owls delivering the morning post.
Because, lest i forget, even living in a country where there were only two movie theatres (to my knowledge) did not stop me from seeing Part 2 of the film when released. That’s the power of a good book; yesterday, i stumbled across this quote by Emma Thompson: “I think books are like people, in the sense that they’ll turn up in your life when you most need them.”
As i have grown into my adulthood i have pledged to never let Harry go. I’ve said a thousand times. But i know, most viscerally, that as i grow older the stories will shape and change me in new ways, for i will never be the thirteen-year-old experiencing the Order of the Phoenix for the first time ever again. Nor do i want to be. Harry came into my life at the exact right time; i was six-and-a-half, precociously reading big chapter books (at the hearty encouragement of my mother) when we met. It was to be a life-long friendship. When i was fourteen and the final book came out, i felt as though i was in a summer that transformed me fully into adolescence. I was no longer a child; i traveled to Uganda for the first time, and i knew the conclusion to the Potter saga. This past summer, at the age of eighteen, i fulfilled a dream long-held to live in Uganda – and i saw the final film installment of the cinematic adaptations of the books. That summer, to me, marks the full entrance into my young adulthood. It’s a scary place, looming beyond graduation with electricity bills and undefined next steps and the abyss of what might be and what could never happen.
(Left: This past summer at the Oasis mall in Kampala City right before seeing the film; Right: In the Nairobi Airport around August 10th, 2007)
It just might be that this new “book for adults” Jo is writing will come at the right time. Or perhaps it will simply be a jolly good read – either would be marvelous. But i’m not easily persuaded life is mere coincidence.
And it is for this very reason i am giving away one of the newest additions to my “Desert Island Books” today: The Fault in Our Stars. May whomever you are be someone who needs this book, and needs it now.
Ways you can enter the giveaway:
1. Tweet the link to the blog (be sure to mention me in the same tweet, so i can keep track!).
2. Follow me on twitter (and tell me in an additional comment).
3. Post the link to this blog on your facebook status (and let me know you’ve done so in an additional comment!).
4. Follow Wandering Writes on WordPress or by some other method (and let me know you’ve done so in an additional comment!).
5. And, of course, by answering the comment question! Best of luck to you all!
Comment Question: What are your thoughts on JK Rowling writing a new book?
Yesterday’s Winner: Larry, for commenting with his Desert Island movie being “JAWS.” Congratulations, Larry! Also, a special shout-out to Hattie for responding to yesterday’s post with a blog of her own! For this, Hattie, i’d like to offer you five of the “nerdy and i know it” postcards! Thanks for such an awesome response!
current jam: “mischief managed” nicholas hooper.
best thing in my life right now: Jo Rowling has written another book. does this need further explanation?