JK Rowling's new book features woman killed after being accused of transphobia

Aisha Nozari

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JK Rowling's new book features woman killed after being accused of transphobia

Featured Image Credit: Stills Press/PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

JK Rowling’s latest novel involves a storyline about a woman who is stabbed to death after facing transphobia accusations. 

Rowling’s new book, The Ink Black Heart, features a YouTube cartoonist called Edie Ledwell whose fans turn on her because her work is deemed transphobic. Ledwell is eventually found stabbed to death in a London graveyard. 

Rowling, whose latest literary venture is penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, has herself been accused of transphobia in the past, most famously in 2020 when the blockbuster author took issue with a headline discussing ‘people who menstruate’. 

JK Rowling’s latest novel involves a storyline about a woman who is stabbed to death after facing transphobia accusations. Credit: London Red carpet/Alamy Stock Photo
JK Rowling’s latest novel involves a storyline about a woman who is stabbed to death after facing transphobia accusations. Credit: London Red carpet/Alamy Stock Photo

In response, Rowling tweeted: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

Rowling has strongly denied being transphobic, not only claiming she ‘knows and loves’ trans people, but also penning a lengthy essay explaining her stance on the sex and gender debate.

The Harry Potter author also denied The Ink Black Heart’s plotline was in any way a reflection of her own experience with fan backlash, telling Graham Norton in a recent Virgin Radio interview: “I should make it really clear after some of the things that have happened the last year that this is not depicting [that].”

She added: “I had written the book before certain things happened to me online. I said to my husband, ‘I think everyone is going to see this as a response to what happened to me,’ but it genuinely wasn’t.

“The first draft of the book was finished at the point certain things happened.”

The author has strongly denied that she is transphobic over the last few years. Credit: Stills Press/Alamy Stock Photo
The author has strongly denied that she is transphobic over the last few years. Credit: Stills Press/Alamy Stock Photo

The Ink Black Heart is part of Rowling’s crime thriller series Cormoran Strike and makes up the latest instalment. 

Earlier this year, police decided not to take action against trans rights activists who doxxed Rowling by sharing a photo of the author’s Scotland home because they felt Rowling wasn’t supportive of transgender equality.

However, back in January, Police Scotland confirmed no criminality had been established in the wake of inquiries.

After her address was made public, Rowling tweeted at the time: “I have to assume [they] thought doxxing me would intimidate me out of speaking up for women’s sex-based right. 

“They should have reflected on the fact that I’ve now received so many death threats I could paper the house with them, and I haven’t stopped speaking out.”

Rowling added: “Perhaps, and I’m just throwing this out there, the best way to prove your movement isn’t a threat to women, is to stop stalking, harassing and threatening us.”

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers 

Topics: Celebrity, Books, JK Rowling, LGBTQ

Aisha Nozari
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