It has been fairly quiet on the ‘extremely problematic JK Rowling’ front lately – then, boom, the first review of her new book arrives. One word: yeesh.
The ‘Harry Potter’ author has attracted widespread criticism once more for appearing to spread transphobic views in latest novel, ‘Troubled Blood.’
Written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, the fifth entry in the crime series finds our protagonist, private detective Cormoran Strike, investigate a cis male serial killer who fetishises women's clothing and, in one instance, dresses up as a woman to trick the person he is abducting.
According to The Telegraph’s reviewer Jake Kerridge, the “meat” of the 900-page tome is devoted to the disappearance of a woman in 1974, believed to be the victim of a cross-dressing murderer.
“One wonders what critics of Rowling’s stance on trans issues will make of [the] book,” Kerridge notes.
It is not the first time Rowling has woven anti-trans opinions into her literary work – in the second Strike book, ‘The Silkworm,’ the detective tells a trans woman who had been stalking him that prison “won’t be fun for you… Not pre-op.”
The latest narrative would seem to be another extension of Rowling’s commitment to transphobia – in June, she took issue with the inclusionary phrase “people who menstruate”, before penning an essay defending her views.
Last night [Monday], the 55-year-old writer faced a fresh wave of outrage on social media.
Trans activist Paris Lees tweeted: “JK Rowling's new book's about a ‘transvestite serial killer’. Meanwhile over in the real world the number of trans people killed in Brazil has risen by 70 per cent this past year, young trans women are left to burn in cars and men who kill us (for being trans) are pardoned and sent home."
“I know a lot of you who follow me probably share some of the fears around the myth about ‘men who dress up as women to hurt women’. If I wasn't trans I suspect I would too. But I ask you to look inside your heart and question what is really happening here,” she added.