With Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy just a few days away from the reader, Ian Parker of The New Yorker has posted a lengthy feature on Rowling and her upcoming book. Among the interesting thoughts therein:
…reviewers looking for echoes of the Harry Potter series will find them. “The Casual Vacancy” describes young people coming of age in a place divided by warring factions, and the deceased council member, Barry Fairbrother—who dies in the first chapter but remains the story’s moral center—had the same virtues, in his world, that Harry had in his: tolerance, constancy, a willingness to act.
“I think there is a through-line,” Rowling said. “Mortality, morality, the two things that I obsess about.”
Parker, of course, talks about the differences, too; notably a much–read MUCH–more adult feel to the book, and–well, as Rowling put it, “It’s been billed, slightly, as a black comedy, but to me it’s more of a comic tragedy.” Likewise, as we’ve all prognosticated, we can expect some politics: