In recent years, Rowling has made headlines for sharing her views on transgender rights. She was first met with a backlash in June 2020 after calling out an article’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate”. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” she wrote, adding: “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Since then, Rowling has repeatedly come under criticism for various social media posts, which many have accused of being transphobic.
Rowling has repeatedly rejected the idea that she is “transphobic” and has said that she “knows and loves” trans people. The author has also received death threats due to her posts and previously had her address in Scotland leaked online by activists.
The Ink Black Heart is the latest instalment in the crime thriller series Cormoran Strike, which she writes under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
In the novel, a YouTube cartoonist called Edie Ledwell is turned on by fans and trolls after her work – which includes a scene with a hermaphrodite worm – is criticised for being racist, ableist and transphobic.
According to Rolling Stone, the story sees internet trolls post photos of Ledwell’s home on the internet and target her with death and rape threats. She is ultimately found stabbed to death in a London graveyard.
In a recent interview with Graham Norton on Virgin Radio, Rowling said: “I should make it really clear after some of the things that have happened the last year that this is not depicting [that].
“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 Ink Black Heart was published today (30 August) and is out now.