Rowling, J. K.
(Joanne Kathleen Rowling)rōl´ibreve;ing [key]
, 1965–, English author known for her popular children's books. While unemployed she completed Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
(1996), the first in a series that vividly chronicles the coming-of-age adventures and perils of a young wizard and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Published in the United States as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
(1998, film 2001), it attracted a huge international readership. It was soon followed by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
(1998, film 2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
(1999, film 2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
(2000, film 2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
(2003, film 2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
(2005, film 2009), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
(2007, filmed in two parts 2010 and 2011), making Rowling one of the world's most successful and wealthiest authors. Her books, which appeal to both young and adult audiences, have been widely credited with reviving the practice of reading in many children. She also wrote the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
(2016), a movie set earlier in the same world of magic, and for its sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
(2018). In 2012 Rowling published her first novel for an adult audience, The Casual Vacancy,
a black comedy that reveals the conflicts beneath the surface of life in a contemporary English village. It was followed by four mysteries, The Cuckoo's Calling
(2013), The Silkworm
(2014), Career of Evil
(2015), and Lethal White
(2018), featuring the detective Cormoran Strike and his sidekick Robin Ellacott and published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
See biographies by S. Smith (2001), W. Compson (2003), C. A. Kirk (2003), C. C. Lovett (2003), and C. A. Sexton (2005); studies by J. Granger (2002), G. L. Anatol, ed. (2003), E. Heilman, ed. (2003), J. Houghton (2003), G. Wiener, ed. (2003), D. Baggett and S. E. Klein, ed. (2004), G. W. Beahm (2004), and M. Lackey, ed. (2006).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: English Literature, 20th cent. to the Present: Biographies