Ink Black Heart is the latest installment in JK Rowling’s thriller series Cormoran Strike written under the name Robert Galbraith
JK Rowlingbest known for writing the Harry Potter serieshas sparked a backlash online following the publication of her latest novel, titled Ink Black Heart.
That’s all you need to know.
What is your new book Ink Black Heart about?
Ink Black Heart is Rowling’s latest installment in her crime series Cormoran Strike, written under the pen name Robert Galbraith.
The new book stars Edie Ledwell, creator of a popular YouTube animated series called The inky heartwhose fandom and the internet in general turned against them after the cartoon was criticized for being racist, ableist and transphobic.
Ledwell leaks her address with photos of her home on the Internet, faces death and rape threats, and is eventually found stabbed and murdered in a cemetery.
Ledwell is suspected to have been the victim of a hate campaign orchestrated against her as Strike and private investigator Robin Ellacott attempt to solve Ledwell’s murder.
The official synopsis of the book reads: “When a distraught, disheveled Edie Ledwell shows up at the office and asks to speak to her, private investigator Robin Ellacott is at a loss as to what to do with the situation.
“The co-creator of a popular cartoon, the inky heart, Edie is being stalked by a mysterious online figure who goes by the alias Anomie. Edie desperately tries to uncover Anomie’s true identity.
“Robin decides the agency can’t help with that – and thinks nothing of it until a few days later when she reads the shocking news that Edie has been tasered and then murdered in Highgate Cemetery The inky heart.
“Robin and her business partner, Cormoran Strike, are drawn into the quest to uncover Anomie’s true identity.
“But with a complex web of online aliases, business interests and family conflicts to navigate, Strike and Robin find themselves embroiled in a case that will stretch their ability to reason to the limit – and threaten them in new and terrifying ways …”
Does the book reflect JK Rowling’s own controversies?
Internet audiences were quick to point out the similarities between Rowling’s new book, including a number of reviewers, such as Jake Kerridge at the telegraphWho wrote: “[Rowling’s] A female celebrity is pursued by self-righteous children’s fantasy fans in this new thriller. I wonder where she got the idea from…”
For those who don’t know, in 2020, Rowling found herself at the center of online controversy after posting tweets that were deemed “transphobic.”
At the time, Rowling had a problem with an article that used the phrase “people who menstruate.”
She tweeted the article, adding, “People who are menstruating.” I’m sure there used to be a word for these people. someone help me whoops wimpund? woomud?”
In response to her tweet, many pointed out that menstruation is not something experienced exclusively by cisgender women.
Many emphasized the fact that transgender men menstruate, transgender (and some cisgender) women do not, and other gender identities across the spectrum can also experience periods.
Her tweet sparked conversation online about transgender people and their rights as a community, and Rowling, while claiming not to be transphobic, further reinforced her stance.
In the weeks and months that followed, Rowling continued to post anti-transgender views online and published a lengthy personal essay entitled JK Rowling writes about her reasons for speaking out on sex and gender issues.
She tweeted about the essay with the caption “TERF wars.”
In the essay, Rowling wrote, “I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I don’t want to make birth girls and women any less safe.
“If you open the doors of bathrooms and dressing rooms to any man who believes or feels he is a woman – and as I said before, gender confirmation certificates can now be issued without the need for surgery or hormones – then open them.” door for any men who wish to come in.”
However, a number of studies have found that the implementation of anti-discrimination laws that allow transgender people to use the right bathroom for their gender identity has not led to an increase in criminal activity.
Among those who criticized Rowling for her transphobic views were Harry Potter Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.
Even before the 2020 tweets, Rowling faced backlash the year before after publicly supporting Maya Forstater, a researcher whose contract was not renewed after posting her own transphobic tweets on the social media platform.
However, Rowling has claimed that the book’s content was in no way inspired by any of her recent online controversies.
Published by Graham Norton’s radio show Podcast, Rowling said: “I should really clarify after some of the things that have happened over the last year that this is not being portrayed [that].
“I had written the book before certain things happened to me online.
“I said to my husband, ‘I think everyone is going to see that as a reaction to what happened to me,’ but it really wasn’t.
“The first draft of the book was ready by the time certain things happened.”
“So I want to be very clear that I didn’t write this book in response to anything that happened to me.
“Although I must say when it happened to me, those who had already read the book in manuscript form were – are you clairvoyant? I wasn’t psychic, I was just – yeah, it was just one of those weird twists.
“Sometimes life mimics art more than one would like.”
How was the reaction online?
As the content of Rowling’s new book began to spread, many online were quick to share their thoughts.
Taking to Twitter, one person wrote: “JK Rowling, who is writing a book about how she’s being attacked by people who don’t share her bigotry, under the alias she borrowed from the man who invented anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy.” tolerate should really put it into perspective for everyone who continues to support her work.”
The person refers to the fact that Rowling’s pseudonym shares a name with Robert Galbraith Heath, an American psychiatrist who pioneered a series of practices that laid the groundwork for the torturous methods of gay conversion therapy.
He experimented with a variety of techniques to “cure” gay men, such as electroshock treatments and other similar procedures that have since been condemned by the medical community.
A spokesman for Rowling said: “JK Rowling was unaware of Robert Galbraith Heath when she chose the pseudonym for her crime novels.
“Any claim that there is a connection is baseless and untrue.”
With reference to The inky heart, another person tweeted: “Publishing a transphobic book by JK Rowling under her transphobic alias about being bullied online for being transphobic is more than just a parody. You are a multimillionaire. log out.”
“I love that JK Rowling not only victimizes herself in her new book, but also fat people and people with her [Postural tachycardia syndrome] and this time fibromyalgia. How can so much hate exist in one person? She acts like she was crucified. We get it. They hate sick people and trans people. Yawn,” tweeted another.
Lark Malakai Gray, the co-host of the Harry Potter podcast called The gay prophet said NPR in an email that he found the situation “deeply embarrassing” for Rowling.
He wrote: “She’s published a 1,000-page fanfic in which she is the victim – it’s the kind of behavior you would expect from a stubborn teenager, not a grown adult with immense wealth and power.
“I have no idea what she was expecting, but to see the internet fill with jokes about the book has been an absolute joy after all the damage she has done to my community over the past few years.”