Have you ever thought it might be cool to hang out with J. K. Rowling? Because the Harry Potter books shaped your childhood, or your children's childhood, or your parents' childhood (future babies), or because you love hanging out with millionaires, or because you have a fetish for older, soft-spoken white women with a touch of sadness about the eyes?
The ten-page profile of Rowling in the October 1st issue of the New Yorker may make you reconsider these playdate plans.
Over the course of some 9,000 words, the profile manages to make J. K. Rowling seem, not mean, exactly, but not warm either. Like a woman who accidentally wrote one of the best-selling books in history a long time ago and wishes you would stop bringing it up every time you have a couple drinks.
Courtesy of MUGGLEMARCH (a title Rowling must surely have hated), here are the 10 Key Points About J. K. Rowling.
- She gets dolled up for a low-key office meeting like J-Woww hitting up Thirsty Thursdays or the Long Island Medium driving to a carwash:
She appeared to be wearing false eyelashes and rather heavy foundation.
- She don't neva tweet:
Rowling has written ten tweets in three years.
- Now that she's not working for kids, all she wants to write about is the balls and boobs and vaginas of a sleepy English village. The New Yorker provides three brief snatches of her discussion of snatches (et al.):
"that miraculously unguarded vagina"
"The leathery skin of her upper cleavage radiated little cracks that no longer vanished when decompressed."
"...with an ache in his heart and in his balls."
- She thinks the romantic evening you planned is tacky.
"You don't have sex near unicorns. It's an ironclad rule. It's tacky."
- She's definitely not getting an internship with these letters of recommendation:
Steve Eddy, who taught Rowling English...remembers Joanne as "not exceptional" but "one of a group of girls who were bright, and quite good at English."
Martin Sorrell, then a professor of French at the university, recalled a quietly competent student..who, in academic terms, "gave the appearance of doing what was necessary."
- She's one of those people whom you describe as "friendly" apparently only because she is not un-friendly:
There was a stiffness to the transaction, but she was not unfriendly...
"She was quite thin-skinned about something that we thought was quite funny. I think she thought we'd put her in jeopardy."
...her public posture is often that of someone wronged: she has...characterized moving from an apartment to a very large house as being "driven out" by the press.
- Hey, here's something cool. I'm thinking of starting a little club to pick up some spare cash baby-sitting on the side. Gonna be a fun time, friends hanging out, doing craft projects, being responsible, etc. Would you like to join, Joanne?
"I'm not a natural joiner," she told me.
- She's like that new kid who brags about how "hard" people were in her "old 'hood," and then you find out she just lived in a different middle-class suburb 20 minutes away:
But she downplayed the achievement of having been head girl, an appointment by school authorities. It meant, she said, "We have caught you once smoking at a bus shelter, and we think you probably won't go to Borstal"-juvenile detention. (Steve Eddy, the teacher, doesn't recall the school being so rough.)
Rowling has mocked journalists who, in her view, overdramatize her period of hardship-"I laughed myself stupid," she has said, after a reporter suggested she couldn't afford to buy writing paper-but she has contributed to this confusion. In 2008, while in a New York courtroom to oppose the publication of an unauthorized Harry Potter encyclopedia, she testified that there had been times when she was "literally choosing between food and a typewriter ribbon."
- She's wants to cast an Imperius curse to control us all EVEN THOUGH THIS IS AN "UNFORGIVABLE" CURSE:
Rankin noted that Rowling, in her writing, retains "the power of life and death over these characters." She is wary "of situations you can't always control-in the real world.
When the London Times interviewed her in 2003, it was asked to sign a contract that, according to an account later written by Brian MacArthur, then the paper's executive editor, "stipulated precisely when the interview would occur and who would be the interviewer and photographer; how and where it would be advertised and promoted in the paper and on radio; and gave Rowling full approval of captions, headlines, straplines, line drawings, graphics, headings, advance trails, quotes and photographs."
- Freckles—little dots on the body—oh, ugh, blegh:
...her V-necked sweater was pushed up at the sleeves to show freckled arms.
(The New Yorker // Image via AP)