J.K. Rowling Unmasked as Secret Author of Crime Novel

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 14 2013 2:25 PM

J.K. Rowling Unmasked as Secret Author of Widely Praised Crime Novel

118413425
J.K. Rowling isn't the first high-profile author to use a pseudonym

Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images

It was a story that seemed too good to be true. A former military man tried his hand at writing and managed to publish a complex crime novel that received great reviews. The Cuckoo’s Calling was hardly a commercial success, but many expressed surprise that a new author could write such a sophisticated first novel that received comparisons to the works of crime writers like Ruth Rendell and PD James, notes the Independent. Turns out, the novel that told the tale of a war veteran turned private investigator wasn’t his first novel at all. And, in fact, the author wasn’t even a man. It was J.K. Rowling, the world-famous author of the Harry Potter series. Her secret was revealed by the Sunday Times that began investigating the book after it received an anonymous tip on Twitter, reports the New York Times.

"I hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience," Rowling said in a statement released by her publicist on Sunday. "It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback from publishers and readers under a different name."

Advertisement

Rowling’s attitude doesn’t seem all that surprising considering how her widely anticipated first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, received decidedly mixed reviews after it was released last year. Demand for The Cuckoo’s Calling is now soaring and a reprint is under way that will “carry a revised author biography, which reads, ‘Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling,’” Reagan Arthur, publisher of Little, Brown, said in a statement, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.