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JK Rowling's new thriller takes No 1 spot amid transphobia row

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K Rowling’s new Robert Galbraith thriller Troubled Blood sold almost 65,000 copies in just five days last week, amid widespread criticism of the author’s decision to include a serial killer who dresses in women’s clothing in the novel.

The latest Cormoran Strike novel, in which Rowling’s private detectives investigate the disappearance of a female GP decades earlier, was published last Tuesday. An early review in the Telegraph called one of the novel’s murder suspects, Dennis Creed, a “transvestite serial killer”, and asked “what critics of Rowling’s stance on trans issues will make of a book whose moral seems to be: never trust a man in a dress”. This sparked further accusations of transphobia against the author, after her previous comments about trans people, with the hashtag #RIPJKRowling trending on Twitter and incitements to burn the novel. Rowling did not comment on the controversy around Creed, other than to say that he was loosely based on two real-life murderers.

A bookshop in Australia subsequently announced it would not be stocking new Rowling or Galbraith books, following in the footsteps of several bookshops around the world that announced they would drop her booksafter she published an essay in June laying out her belief that trans women who have not undergone hormone therapy or surgical transition should not have access to single-sex spaces. Newsweek reported a new TikTok trend in which former Harry Potter fans were registering their anger at Rowling’s views on trans people by burning her books.

Despite this, official sales figures from Nielsen BookScan reveal that Troubled Blood has hit the No 1 spot in the UK’s book charts, selling 64,633 copies in the five days to 19 September. According to the Bookseller, this is “by far” the biggest single-week sale for any Galbraith title, almost double the first-week sales of the novel’s predecessor, Lethal White.

Guardian

Tags: JK Rowling

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