Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Rowling, J K from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Biography of J K Rowling, the creator of the phenomenally successful Harry Potter series of children's books. Browse the crowded desktop to discover biographical details, news, rumours, and the ‘Wizard of the Month’ archive.


Rowling, J(oanne) K(athleen)

Summary Article: Rowling, J. K.
From The Columbia Encyclopedia

(Joanne Kathleen Rowling)(rōl'ibreve;ing), 1965–, English author known for her popular children's books, b. Chipping Sodbury, grad. Exeter Univ. (1986). While unemployed she completed Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1996), the first in a series of vivid tales chronicling the coming-of-age adventures and perils of a young wizard and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Published in the United States as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1998, film 2001), it attracted a huge international readership. The rest of the series (and films based on them) soon followed—Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998, film 2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999, film 2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000, film 2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003, film 2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005, film 2009), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007, filmed in two parts 2010 and 2011)—making Rowling one of the world's most successful and wealthiest authors. Her books, which appeal to both young and adult audiences, have been widely credited with reviving the practice of reading in many children. She also wrote the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), a movie set at an earlier time in the same world of magic. In 2012 Rowling published her first novel for an adult audience, The Casual Vacancy, a black comedy that reveals the conflicts beneath the surface of life in a contemporary English village. It was followed by three mysteries, The Cuckoo's Calling (2013), The Silkworm (2014), and Career of Evil (2015) each featuring the detective Cormoran Strike and his sidekick Robin Ellacott and published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

  • See biographies by S. Smith (2001), W. Compson (2003), C. A. Kirk (2003), C. C. Lovett (2003), and C. A. Sexton (2005);.
  • studies by J. Granger (2002), G. L. Anatol, ed. (2003), E. Heilman, ed. (2003), J. Houghton (2003), G. Wiener, ed. (2003), D. Baggett and S. E. Klein, ed. (2004), G. W. Beahm (2004), and M. Lackey, ed. (2006).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

Related Articles

Full text Article Rowling, J[oanne] K[athleen]
Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature

Rowling is a phenomenon. There is surely no other word for one who has single-handedly, and with her first novel, turned a...

Full text Article Rowling, J(oanne) K.
Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature

R. wrote her first story at age six about a rabbit she called Rabbit and has considered herself a writer ever since. She did not...

Full text Article Rowling, J(oanne) K(athleen) (1965– )
The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English children's novelist. Her series of novels about Harry Potter, a schoolboy wizard, achieved unprecedented critical and commercial success. The

See more from Credo