- #GentrifyingGeorge thinks 152-year-old HBCU should ‘just move’ 6 Years Ago
- Watch out! Tonight’s episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ leaked online (updated) Today 3:32 PM
- Videos of people working may be the best thing on TikTok right now Today 1:46 PM
- How to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ season 8, episode 2 for free Today 7:00 AM
- Gendry is making a new weapon for Arya Stark—but what is it? Today 6:30 AM
- The live-action Halo series could be Showtime’s most ambitious project yet Today 6:00 AM
- How to watch Turner Classic Movies for free Today 5:30 AM
- How to watch Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao online for free Today 5:00 AM
- ‘Star Trek’s Jonathan Frakes calls out your lies with this new meme Saturday 3:46 PM
- #JusticeForLucca trends after video shows police slam Black teen’s head into pavement Saturday 3:11 PM
- The internet is shocked to learn that Goombas do, in fact, have arms Saturday 2:02 PM
- PayPal, GoFundMe cut off armed militia that detains migrants at border Saturday 1:16 PM
- Barnwood theft may be on the rise because of ‘Fixer Upper’—and fans aren’t having it Saturday 12:23 PM
- Literary Twitter calls out Dzanc Books for Islamophobic, racist novel Saturday 11:40 AM
- How to watch Crawford vs. Khan online Saturday 10:00 AM
The Cuckoo’s Calling was so well-reviewed, many people did not believe it could have been written by a novice. It wasn’t.
An anonymous tweet unmasked beloved Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling as “first-time novelist” Robert Galbraith, author of The Cuckoo’s Calling.
Rowling’s first book for adults, The Casual Vacancy, came out in September 2012. It was saddled with pre-release excitement and high expectations; it garnered mixed reviews. Meanwhile, Galbraith’s book was so well-reviewed, many people did not believe it could have been written by a novice.
The whole story came to light when a journalist at the Sunday Times tweeted that she enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling but had a hard time believing it was written by a first-time author. Around midnight, according to the New York Times, she received a tweet back from an anonymous account saying the book was written by Rowling.
When asked for proof, the account wrote back, “I just know.” The account was then deactivated. The user deleted all traces of his or her presence online. Richard Brooks, the Times‘ arts editor, investigated. Comparing the two books, the Times wrote:
Both books shared the same agent, publisher and editor in Britain, for example. It seemed particularly odd, he said, that the editor, David Shelley, would be in charge of both someone as important as J. K. Rowling — a very big job, indeed — and someone as seemingly unimportant as Robert Galbraith. … [H]e sent copies of “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” “The Casual Vacancy” and the last Harry Potter novel, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” to a pair of computer linguistic experts, who found significant similarities among them.
Rowling confessed in a statement:
I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer, because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.
From there, the publisher confirmed that Galbraith was Rowling. But who sent that initial tweet? The publisher, hoping to turn a flop into a bestseller? Rowling herself? One Mr. Harry Potter, not actually fictional? The mystery continues.
Gaby Dunn is an actress, comedian, and blogger who covered YouTube for the Daily Dot. Since 2016, she’s hosted the podcast ‘Bad with Money,’ and operates a successful YouTube channel. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Vice, and Salon.