JK Rowling The Casual Vacancy
J K (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling was born in the summer of 1965 at Yate General Hospital in England and grew up in Chepstow, Gwent where she went to Wyedean Comprehensive. Jo left Chepstow for Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree, and where her course included one year in Paris. As a postgraduate she moved to London to work at Amnesty International, doing research into human rights abuses in Francophone Africa. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a Manchester to London King's Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel. Jo then moved to northern Portugal, where she taught English as a foreign language. She married in October 1992 and gave birth to her daughter Jessica in 1993. When her marriage ended, she returned to the UK to live in Edinburgh, where ''Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone'' was eventually completed and in 1996 she received an offer of publication. The following summer the world was introduced to Harry Potter.''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' was published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in June 1997 and was published as ''Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'' in America by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic in September 1998.The second title in the series, ''Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'', was published in July 1998 (June 2, 1999 in America) and was No. 1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts for a month after publication. ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'' was published on 8th July 1999 (September 8, 1999 in America) to worldwide acclaim and massive press attention. The book spent four weeks at No.1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts, while ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' simultaneously topped the paperback charts. In the US the first three Harry Potter books occupied the top three spots on numerous adult bestseller lists.The fourth book in the series, ''Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'' was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia 8th July 2000 with a record first print run of 1 million copies for the UK and 3.8 million for the US. It quickly broke all records for the greatest number of books sold on the first weekend of publication. The fifth book in the series, ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,'' was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia on 21st June 2003. Published in paperback on 10th July 2004, it is the longest in the series - 766 pages - and broke the records set by ''Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire'' as the fastest selling book in history. The sixth book in the series, ''Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'', was published in the UK, US and other English-speaking countries on 16th July 2005 and also achieved record sales.The seventh and final book in the series, ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,'' was published in the UK, US and other English speaking countries on 21st July 2007. The book is the fastest selling book in the UK and USA and sales have contributed to breaking the 375 million copies mark worldwide.J K Rowling has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry's school books within the novels. ''Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'' and ''Quidditch Through The Ages'' were published by Bloomsbury Children's Books and Scholastic in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. The Harry Potter books have sold 400 million copies worldwide. They are distributed in over 200 territories and are translated into 67 languages.
Praise for THE CASUAL VACANCY: A positively propulsive read. -- Wall Street Journal I had come under the spell of a great novel....A big, ambitious, brilliant, profane, funny, deeply upsetting and magnificently eloquent novel of contemporary England, rich with literary intelligence....This is a deeply moving book by somebody who understands both human beings and novels very, very deeply. Lev Grossman, Time A vivid read with great, memorable characters and a truly emotional payoff....Rowling captures the humanity in everyone, even if that humanity is not always a pretty sight. People This book represents a truckload of shrewdness.... There were sentences I underlined for the sheer purpose of figuring out how English words could be combined so delightfully....genuinely moving. Washington Post A positively propulsive read. Wall Street Journal An insanely compelling page-turner....The Casual Vacancy is a comedy, but a comedy of the blackest sort, etched with acid and drawn with pitch....Rowling proves ever dexterous at launching multiple plot lines that roar along simultaneously, never entangling them except when she means to. She did not become the world's bestselling author by accident. She knows down in her bones how to make you keep turning the pages. The Daily Beast Rowling knows how to write a twisty, involving plot....She is clearly a skilled writer. The Huffington Post The Casual Vacancy is a complete joy to read....a stunning, brilliant, outrageously gripping and entertaining evocation of British society today. The Mirror (UK) Rowling has written a grand novel...a very brave book. The Bookseller (UK) A study of provincial life, with a large cast and multiple, interlocking plots, drawing inspiration from Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot...The Casual Vacancy immerses the reader in a richly peopled, densely imagined world...intelligent, workmanlike, and often funny. The Guardian (UK) The Casual Vacancy , JK Rowling's first adult novel, is sometimes funny, often startlingly well observed....Jane Austen herself would admire the way [Rowling] shows the news of Barry's death spreading like a virus round Pagford. Telegraph (UK) There are plenty of pleasures to be had in The Casual Vacancy. ...Parts of the story would be tonally of a piece with any Richard Price or Dennis Lehane novel, or an episode of The Wire. Parade The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling's first adult novel, is sometimes funny, often startlingly well observed....Jane Austen herself would admire the way [Rowling] shows the news of Barry's death spreading like a virus round Pagford. Telegraph (UK)