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J.K. Rowling: From Struggle to Stardom

J. K. Rowling
J. K. Rowling

British author Joanne Kathleen Rowling came up with the idea for the Harry Potter books in 1990, while on a train journey from Manchester to London. After spending some years in Porto in Portugal, where she taught English, she returned to England a single mother. She finished the first book in 1997, but publishers rejected it twelve times. Finally, Bloomsbury agreed to publish it, although she was asked to use the initials J. K. rather than her full name as they thought a female author would only appeal to girls.
It was a massive success: not just with boys and girls, but with millions of grown up men and women too! Rowling went on to write six more books, all of which revolve around Harry’s adventures as a wizard-in-training, and his conflict with the evil Lord Voldemort. The book series has sold more than five hundred million copies to date, making it the best-selling book series of all time. A cultural phenomenon, it has been translated into more than eighty languages. Once struggling to survive, Rowling became a celebrity.