JK Rowling's latest novel, Troubled Blood, comes under fire for an allegedly transphobic plot

Written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, it is the fifth of the author's Cormoran Strike detective series and revolves around the investigation into a cold case of a suspected transvestite serial killer.

FP Staff September 15, 2020 11:52:35 IST
JK Rowling's latest novel, Troubled Blood, comes under fire for an allegedly transphobic plot

File image of JK Rowling. AP

After garnering severe criticism in June for allegedly making transphobic comments, JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has once again come under attack, this time for her latest novel Troubled Blood.

Written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, it is the fifth of the author's Cormoran Strike detective series and revolves around the investigation into a cold case of a suspected transvestite serial killer. The plot of the novel dives into the disappearance of GP Margot Bamborough back in 1974, who was thought to be murdered by Dennis Creed, a cis man who dressed up as a woman.

JK Rowlings latest novel Troubled Blood comes under fire for an allegedly transphobic plot

JK Rowling's latest work Troubled Blood has come under attack for its alleged transphobic treatment of a cis man who dresses up as a woman. Image via The Associated Press

It was an early review published in The Telegraph which had readers incensed as describing the story, reviewer Jake Kerridge wrote, "One wonders 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."

Circulated widely on social media, this part of the review prompted a new wave of backlash against Rowling, according to Vanity Fair, leading to a new hashtag, #RIPJKRowling.

An India Today report also added that there have been other comments on Twitter accusing the author of plagiarism suggesting that her story resembles an Ace Ventura plot or the 1980 movie, Dressed to Kill.

This is not the first time that a Strike novel has come under fire for its treatment of the transgender community. According to an article in The Cut, the second book in the series, The Silkworm depicted the character of a trans woman named Pippa Midgley as a violent stalker who follows detective Strike before attempting to stab him. In writing about this character, Rowling makes several references to Pippa's assigned sex at birth, noting her 'prominent' Adam's apple and describing her voice to be 'as rough and loud as a docker's.'

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