JK Rowling’s first interview in a long line about The Casual Vacancy was released in The Guardian (UK) with a companion video which can be seen below. In the lengthy interview we learn more in-depth details about The Casual Vacancy ahead of its worldwide release this Thursday as well as more information about the author and her personal life.
The Guardian were given the opportunity to read the novel ahead of publication giving it glowing reviews. We learn about the origin of the plot for The Casual Vacancy (the idea coming this time on the plane) and that the writing for this book was set in motion 5 years ago. A more in-depth summary of The Casual Vacancy can be read below.
The story opens with the death of a parish councillor in the pretty West Country village of Pagford. Barry had grown up on a nearby council estate, the Fields, a squalid rural ghetto with which the more pious middle classes of Pagford have long lost patience. If they can fill his seat with one more councillor sympathetic to their disgust, they’ll secure a majority vote to reassign responsibility for the Fields to a neighbouring council, and be rid of the wretched place for good.
The pompous chairman assumes the seat will go to his son, a solicitor. Pitted against him are a bitterly cold GP and a deputy headmaster crippled by irreconcilable ambivalence towards his son, an unnervingly self-possessed adolescent whose subversion takes the unusual but highly effective form of telling the truth. His preoccupation with “authenticity” develops into a fascination with the Fields and its most notorious family, the Weedons.
Terri Weedon is a prostitute, junkie and lifelong casualty of chilling abuse, struggling to stay clean to stop social services taking her three-year-old son, Robbie, into care. But methadone is a precarious substitute for heroin, and most of what passes for mothering falls to her teenage daughter, Krystal. Spirited and volatile, Krystal has known only one adult ally in her life – Barry – and his sudden death casts her dangerously adrift. When anonymous messages begin appearing on the parish council website, exposing villagers’ secrets, Pagford unravels into a panic of paranoia, rage and tragedy.
Pagford will be appallingly recognisable to anyone who has ever lived in a West Country village, but its clever comedy can also be read as a parable about national politics. “I’m interested in that drive, that rush to judgment, that is so prevalent in our society,” Rowling says. “We all know that pleasurable rush that comes from condemning, and in the short term it’s quite a satisfying thing to do, isn’t it?” But it requires obliviousness to the horrors suffered by a family such as the Weedons, and the book satirises the ignorance of elites who assume to know what’s best for everyone else.
Click here to read the complete article
Along with the interview, Jo also took part in a photoshoot – one image of which was used on the front cover of the Guardian magazine and can be viewed in our gallery.
Photoshoots > Photoshoots from 2012 > Shoot 01