J.K. "Slippery Jo" Rowling was in NYC this week to promote The Casual Vacancy and be generally British and awesome. Alas, our strongest attempts to cast the media credentials spell came up dry, so we could not make it to her speaking gig at Lincoln Center. But we did catch her Daily Show appearance on the webby, and are now more convinced than ever that she is, indeed, made of unicorn brains.
Like—just watch the first 20 seconds of this interview! Before Mama Muggle even has time to answer a question her unstoppable magical aura is already quick at work blowing up studio lighting equipment. Fortunately for us all, her wrath subsides as she settles in for one of the most funny, fascinating chats about book stuff we've ever seen on a political(ish) chat show. Watch her extended interview with the ever-wizardly Jon Stewart below—or, if you're trapped in a library/sleeping Cerberus' lair and need to keep the YouTube on the DL, read our summary of her best quotes below.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive - J.K. Rowling Extended Interview Pt. 2|
On the alleged "bravery" of starting a new novel and leaving her bestselling series behind:
"The brave thing, honestly, was working on something for seven years with no hope of getting it published…I really believed in the story."
On her debt to the UK government:
"[Casual Vacancy] is not a memoir, but I couldn't've written this book if I hadn't had a few years where I had been as poor as it's possible to go in the UK without being homeless…One of the reasons I stay and pay [taxes in Britain]—why I'm not based in Monaco—is I feel that I owe. My country truly helped me. There are other places in the world where I would've starved."
On her inspiration for Pagford:
"It's the kind of place I know well. I grew up in a town that's not…dissimilar in feeling."
On—spoiler alert! (ok, not really)—the ending of The Casual Vacancy:
"Dumbledore comes back!"
On writing muggle fiction:
"I was writing other things during the time I was writing Potter, so this isn't the first time I've put myself in the real world."
(What was she writing?? MUST FIND!)
On non-magical problem solving:
"In a very real sense in Potter, the magic didn't really solve a lot. For everything it solved it often caused more problems. So ultimately it did become about human beings solving their problems."
On Mythic Heroes:
"Heroes are always difficult…there's something about myth and legend. When you think about Galahad, he's strangely unreal. He's strangely inhuman. And you take that right through to someone like Luke Skywalker, and he's kind of sexless also. He only ever got one kiss, and it was his sister!"
On the heroes of The Casual Vacancy:
"There are two heroic character in this book. One of them dies in the first two pages, and the other is a more quiet character who I think emerges heroic at the end of the book."
On that wise-looking gent with glasses in the front row of the audience:
"He could play the middle-aged Harry Potter!"
On solving all of America's problems:
"You know what you need, is a monarch. Hear me out! We have a head of state, who is the monarch, and then we are able to treat our politicians with utter contempt."
On sharing monarchs with Great Britain:
"I imagine she'd be happy to have you back."
There you have it! God Save the Queen, Keep Calm And Eat Clams, etc. etc.
Is J.K. ACTUALLY a wizard?
What's your favorite Rowling quote of all time?
Are you glad we're all British now?
CasVac Book Club members: Who do YOU think is the "quiet hero" of Pagford she's talking about?