J.K. Rowling Birth:
Joanne Kathleen Rowling was born July 31, 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England.
J.K. Rowling Background:
Rowling grew up largely near Chepstow, Wales. As a child, she loved reading and was writing fantasy stories at a young age. As a teenager, she was given a copy of Jessica Mitford's autobiography, Hons and Rebels, which she called "a danagerous book to give a disatisfied, left-leaning teenager. She subsequently ended up reading everything Mitford had written.
Rowling attended the University of Exeter, where she studied French and Classics. After graduation, she moved to London to work for Amnesty International as a researcher. It was in 1990 on a train trip from Manchester to London that she hit upon the idea of a young boy attending a wizard school. She began writing the book immediately.
Rowling moved to Porto, Portugal to teach English as a second language. While there, she married Portuguese television journalist Jorge Arantes and gave birth to her daughter, Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes. The couple separated however, and Rowling and her daughter moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where her sister lived.In Edinburghe, she studied to be a teacher while finishing Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (published as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the U.S.). She received an offer for the book from Bloomsbury in 1996, and published it in 1997.
Since having been launched into the literary stratosphere as a result of the Harry Potter series (Forbes named Rowling the first person to become a billionaire by writing books), Rowling has been the recipient of numerous honors, honorary degrees, and awards. She has been an avid supporter of various charities and causes, most notably poverty relief and multiple schlerosis, from which her mother died in 1990. Since her second marriage to Dr. Neil Michael Murray in 2001, Rowling has had two more children - a son, David, and daughter, Mackenzie.
The Casual Vacancy:
In September 2012, Rowling published The Casual Vacancy. Billed as her "novel for adults" (as though the Harry Potter series hasn't been read by millions of adults?), the novel is an engrossing, character-driven portrayal of a seemingly idyllic English town which, beneath it's pretty exterior, is coming apart at the seams.