J.K. Rowling’s ‘Blackly Comic’ Post-Potter Book Gets Release Date

'The Casual Vacancy,' Rowling's first adult novel, will be released on September 27.
By John Mitchell

J.K. Rowling
Photo: Daniel Barry/Getty Images

It's been five long years since J.K. Rowling published "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," and now we finally have the name and release date for her first adult novel. "The Casual Vacancy" will be released by Little, Brown Book Group on September 27.

When Rowling signed her deal with Little, Brown in February, few details about the novel were made public, but now we know it is the "blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising" tale of what happens in an idyllic English village after a parish councilmember dies unexpectedly leaving a hotly sought after seat on the town council open.

"When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock," the official synopsis reads, going on to describe "a town at war."

"Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?"

At the U.K. premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2," Rowling told MTV News that she had been writing actively since finishing the final "Potter" book, but wanted the film franchise to conclude before she moved forward with her writing career. "I'm writing, and I've done quite a lot since finishing 'Harry,' " she said. "I also felt I wanted the last film out of the way before I made any moves on the publishing front. 'Harry' is so huge and I suppose my involvement with the world has still been quite intense. This feels like a new beginning to me."

The seven "Potter" books represent the best-selling book series in history, with more than 450 million copies in print, and inspired the most successful film franchise ever, grossing more than $7.7 billion worldwide. Scholastic published Rowling's "Potter" books in the U.S. but does not publish novels for adult audiences.

Little, Brown said the 480-page "Casual Vacancy" will be available as a traditional hardcover, but will also be sold as an e-book and audio download.

Are you excited for Rowling's first post-"Potter" novel? Let us know in the comments below!

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