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Feb 24, 2012

J. K. Rowling, Stephen Colbert and the story of two topsy turvy publishing announcements


Well, we appear to be in a strange looking-glass world this week with political satirist Stephen Colbert to publish a children’s book and acclaimed children’s author J. K. Rowling today announcing she will be releasing a novel for adults.

Personally, I’m looking forward to both.

Colbert’s book, I Am a Pole (And So Can You!) will be published on May 8 by Grand Central and seems interesting coming from a man who once told USA TODAY that books are dangerous and should not be mentioned in front of children.

In a statement Colbert said of the upcoming release: ‘It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to write a children’s book. I hope the minutes you and your loved ones spend reading it are as fulfilling as the minutes I spent writing it.’

It is to be an illustrated story about a flag pole’s search for identity and is the result of an interview with children’s author Maurice Sendak (who wrote Where The Wild Things Are) on The Colbert Report which you can view here.

Meanwhile, U.K. publisher Little, Brown announced today that they will publish J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults, both in print and ebook. Very little has been released about the project – with the title, date for publication and any further details about the novel’s topic or genre to be announced later in the year.

Rowling said in a statement:

Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world. The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life.

Anyone care to predict what Rowling’s novel might be about?

Bethanie Blanchard —

Bethanie Blanchard

Writer, critic and Liticism blogger

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2 thoughts on “J. K. Rowling, Stephen Colbert and the story of two topsy turvy publishing announcements

  1. Bethanie Blanchard

    My apologies – Yes ‘I Am A Pole’ is indeed a children’s picture book not a novel. Thanks for pointing it out and I’ve amended that instance in the text.

    Incidentally, in the original Colbert Report segment the text of the book reads:
    “I am a pole, that much is clear to me, but just what type of pole could I possibly be?
    I tried to be a pole for vaulting, but I couldn’t seem to bend.

    I would love to be a ski pole, but for that I’d need a friend.

    I wished I was the north pole and marked the home of Santa, or even just a gallop poll calling voters in Atlanta.

    I considered fireman’s and fishing, was a totem for some time, and even tried to be a stripper pole but I couldn’t stand the grind.

    But then one day in my depths of despair, some scouts brought me old glory as something to wear, and while she danced and she waved it became clear to me.
I’m the best kind of pole you can possibly be.
    I’m an American flag pole. Now pledge allegiance or else!”
    Although I think the final book might be longer than that.

  2. IllusionaryLunch

    I thought “I am a Pole” is a picture book, not a novel – can you confirm?

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