J.K. Rowling completed her political fairytale but may never publish it

J.K. Rowling revealed she was writing the political fairytale a decade ago.


J.K. Rowling announced the completion of her long-awaited “political fairytale,” though suggested that it was a “lost manuscript.” In other words, fans may never get to read it.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour spoke with Rowling about her charity Lumos in a new interview released on Monday. Amanpour closed the interview with a question about Rowling’s work on a political fairytale for children, to which Rowling revealed the fairytale had been completed, but may never be published. Rowling said she wrote parts of the manuscript on a dress and wore it to a party as a “lost manuscript.”

You can read the exchange below (courtesy CNN):

Christiane Amanpour: I read that you were considering writing a political book for children, young people?

J.K. Rowling: Oh, that was a fairy tale … But I — I will tell you this. On my 50th — the theme of my 50th birthday, which I held at Halloween, even though that’s not really my birthday, was come as your own private nightmare. And I went as a lost manuscript. And I wrote over a dress most of that book. So that book, I don’t know whether it will ever be published, but it’s actually hanging in a wardrobe currently.

You can watch the clip here.

Rowling didn’t reveal many details about the story but stressed that the fairytale wasn’t concerned with partisan politics.

“It wasn’t political in a sort of party political sense,” Rowling told Amanpour. “I don’t know whether I’ll ever publish that.”

Fans became aware of the political fairytale a decade ago. Rowling first mentioned its existence in a documentary about her life — “A Year in the Life of J.K. Rowling” — that aired in the winter of 2007. Filmmaker James Runcie was behind the documentary and concluded it by asking about Rowling’s upcoming works. Rowling had just completed the final Harry Potter book at the time.

You can read the exchange below. If you have access to the documentary, Runcie asks the question around the 46:44 mark.

James Runcie: So, Jo, what are you writing now?

J.K. Rowling: A story that I describe as a political fairytale. And it’s for, I think, slightly younger children. So that will probably be the next thing that I finish. I’m not in a mad hurry to publish. I would like to take my time.

Runcie: Why?

Rowling: Because I’ve lived with deadlines for 10 years and I’m currently able to luxuriate in the fact that no one’s really expecting it, no one knows anything about it. So I feel as though I’ve gone right back to the beginning of where I was with Philosopher’s Stone, where it was my private world, and I’d really like to enjoy that sole possession for a while.

Runcie: Political fairtyale, that’s all you’re prepared to say?

Rowling: I think that’s quite a lot, James!

It’s unfortunate that fans may never get to read the fairytale, though Rowling has published four novels and launched a film franchise in the last decade. She certainly hasn’t left her readers with nothing!

Saul Marquez founded Bookstacked in 2014 and serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief. He primarily covers news for Bookstacked. He also co-hosts Bookmarked: A YA Book Podcast.

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