Latest JK Rowling thriller sparks transgender outrage

The plot of 'Troubled Blood', the latest book by British writer J.K. Rowling, has sparked controversy on social networks. — AFP pic
The plot of 'Troubled Blood', the latest book by British writer J.K. Rowling, has sparked controversy on social networks. — AFP pic

LONDON, Sept 16 — Controversy over British writer JK Rowling’s latest is book is building on social networks. Having already been accused of insulting transgender people on Twitter earlier this summer, the author is now under fire from critics horrified by the plot of her newly released thriller. The novel tells the tale of a serial killer whose modus operandi includes dressing up as a woman. 

Troubled Blood is the fifth installment in the crime fiction series Cormoran Strike, which JK Rowling has published under the pen name of Robert Galbraith since April 2013.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the 944-page novel focuses on the worrying disappearance of a mother, whom Cormoran Strike suspects may have been murdered by a serial killer, who often dresses up as a woman. 

Even though it has just been published today, on Tuesday, September 15, Troubled Blood has already attracted a firestorm of criticism on Twitter, with many commentators outraged by its plot to the point where they are now accusing the creator of the Harry Potter saga of transphobia. And that is not all they have also launched the  hashtag #RIPJKRowling

“JK Rowling is single-mindedly obsessed with trans people and actively frames them as predators in her novels”, writes the literary critic and blogger Ella Dawson on Twitter, where she also takes to task the second opus in the Cormoran Strike saga. 

The Silkworm published in 2014 attracted an avalanche of criticism for the manner in which Rowling described the character of Pippa Midgley, a transgender woman who falls for Inspector Cormoran Strike before attempting to stab him in his office. 

Accusations refuted by JK Rowling

Although JK Rowling has yet comment on controversy over Troubled Blood, the writer recently announced that she would return an award she received from the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organisation in 2019.

The president of the organisation, Kerry Kennedy, had publicly said that views expressed by JK Rowling “diminished the identity” of transgender people. 

The high-profile writer took exception to the remark which “incorrectly implied” that she “was transphobic, and responsible for harm to trans people.” She further added: “As a longstanding donor to LGBT charities and a supporter of trans people’s right to live free of persecution, I absolutely refute the accusation that I hate trans people or wish them ill”. — AFP-Relaxnews

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