JK Rowling discusses her mother’s fight with multiple sclerosis: 'She never knew about Harry Potter'
The Harry Potter author tells of her mother’s tragic death
JK Rowling has spoken of the pain of her late mother never knowing about her success.
The author’s mother, Anne, suffered from multiple sclerosis and died in 1990 at the age of 45, before Rowling had achieved literary fame.
“Yes, she didn't know, she never knew about Harry Potter - I started writing it six months before she died, so that is painful,” Rowling said. “I wish she'd known.
“My mother was a passionate reader, and she would have been excited whatever I did, if I succeeded at anything, but particularly to be a writer, she would have considered that to be a very valuable thing.”
This morning, the author became the first guest editor on BBC Radio 4’s Women Hour in 60 years. She will be followed by Doreen Lawrence, Kelly Holmes and Naomi Alderman later this week.
The Harry Potter novelist opened up about the difficulties of seeing her mother’s condition worsen and the “enormous impact” it had on family life. She was diagnosed aged just 35, when Rowling was still a teenager.
“She always seemed very young,” she said. “She was very fit, she was a non-smoker, non-drinker, and I say all of this because of course then for her to be diagnosed at 35 with an illness that would kill her was just the most enormous shock to us and everyone who knew her.”
“I was a teenager, but yes, it had the most enormous impact on our family life, and my mother, by the time she was diagnosed, she was quite ill,” recalled Rowling.
“She had been showing symptoms for a few years and didn't know what they were, so by the time she was diagnosed, her health was deteriorating, so it wasn't just the spectre of the unknown, it was dealing with the daily reality of somebody who's starting not to be able to walk as well as they had, and for such an active person that was a real privation.”
MS affects 100,000 people in the UK, traditionally people aged between 20 and 40. Symptoms include fatigue, difficulty in walking and vision problems.
Last week, it was announced that Rowling’s first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, is to become a television miniseries, co-produced by the BBC and HBO.
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Sir David Attenborough interview: The one question about life that still baffles him
Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...
£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...
£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...