Stephen King praises new JK Rowling book despite past row over trans views

King praised ‘The Running Grave’, the latest novel in Rowling’s Cormoran Strike detective series

Tom Murray
Friday 27 October 2023 06:50 BST
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Stephen King fans were left somewhat surprised on Thursday (26 October) after the horror author commended JK Rowling on her new book.

King took to Twitter/X to praise The Running Grave, the latest novel in Rowling’s Cormoran Strike detective series, which she writes under her crime fiction pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

“This is JK Rowling at her best, recalling the sheer readability of the Harry Potter books, but much darker,” King wrote. “This got me through a difficult time.”

In the replies, fans expressed their confusion over the review, as King has previously disagreed with Rowling over her views on transgender people.

The Harry Potter author, 58, is known for her outspoken and repeated criticisms of trans rights. Last week, she suggested that she would “happily” spend two years in prison for misgendering a transgender person.

In June 2020, she deleted a tweet expressing her love of King, after he confirmed that he supports trans women.

Stephen King

When asked about the incident in an interview with Daily Beast in 2021, King said: “Jo cancelled me. She sorta blocked me and all that. Here’s the thing: She is welcome to her opinion. That’s the way that the world works.

“If she thinks that trans women are dangerous, or that trans women are somehow not women, or whatever problem she has with it – the idea that someone ‘masquerading’ as a woman is going to assault a ‘real’ woman in the toilet – if she believes all those things, she has a right to her opinion.”

He added: “And then someone tweeted at me, ‘Do you think trans women are women?’ and I said, ‘Yes, I do.’ And that’s what she got angry about – my opinion. It’s like the old saying, ‘I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’ So, nobody has ‘cancelled’ JK Rowling. She’s doing fine. I just felt that her belief was, in my opinion, wrong. We have differing opinions, but that’s life.”

He added that people should keep in mind that Rowling’s opinion on trans women “is an outlier in her entire political spectrum”, explaining: “She was very much anti-Brexit and very much anti-Trump. She’s on the side of the angels in most respects, but she does have this one thing that she’s very vehement about. No doubt.”

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