J.K. Rowling's novel The Ink Black Heart reportedly features character canceled online for being transphobic
It doesn't take a great pair of detectives like Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott to figure out that J.K. Rowling's latest novel may be a case of art imitating life.
The Harry Potter creator's latest novel, The Ink Black Heart — the sixth installment in her ongoing crime series which she pens under the name Robert Galbraith — was released Tuesday, and it reportedly contains a storyline that echoes events from Rowling's own life.
In the novel, a popular YouTube content creator named Edie Ledwell is met with a wave of backlash online after her work is deemed racist, ableist, and transphobic. As a result, the character was "doxxed with photos of her home plastered on the internet, subjected to death and rape threats for having an opinion, and was ultimately found stabbed to death in a cemetery," reports Rolling Stone.
Throughout the novel, Rowling "takes a clear aim at 'social justice warriors' and suggests that Ledwell was a victim of a masterfully plotted, politically fueled hate campaign against her," the outlet also notes.
If any of that sounds familiar, it's because Rowling herself has been embroiled in online controversy surrounding her continuous remarks targeting the trans community. The author — who penned a lengthy June 2020 essay in which she shared her thoughts on trans issues and being labeled a 'TERF' (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist) — has a history of writing divisive tweets and supporting fellow celebrities who've been accused of making anti-trans comments.
Rowling's views have been rebuked by both the Harry Potter fandom and multiple members of its film franchise's cast, including its very own Golden Trio: actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson.
Still, on the blog The Rowling Library, Rowling maintained that any similarities between her own life and The Ink Black Heart are just coincidence. "I have never created a book — and this book certainly isn't created from my own experience — you know, with a view to talking about my own life," she wrote. "That doesn't mean, of course, that your own life experience isn't in the book."
Rowling did acknowledge, however, that "a couple of the things that happened in this book have since happened to me" since she began writing it.
"I would like to be very clear that I haven't written this book as an answer to anything that happened to me," she continued. "Although I have to say when it did happen to me, those who had already read the book in manuscript form were, 'Are you clairvoyant?' I wasn't clairvoyant, I just – yeah, it was just one of those weird twists. Sometimes life imitates art more than one would like."
The Ink Black Heart is out now.
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