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JK Rowling new book — chronic illness references

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS discussion' started by Braganca, Sep 2, 2022.

  1. Braganca

    Braganca Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  2. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    All publicity is good publicity.
     
  3. Wyva

    Wyva Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    So I have no idea what is going on here, because those screenshots with the tweets were pretty confusing to me. But I did spot CF, fibromyalgia and ME here and there in that text.

    Edit: I just realized more info was added to the above post a bit later, so mine is a bit redundant now. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2022
  4. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I saw that twitter thread too. Maybe someone will sacrifice the time and energy to read the book and tell us just what's going on. I don't want to judge an author on the basis of a few tweets and screenshots taken out of context.
     
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  5. Tia

    Tia Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I can't make a judgement without reading the whole book.
     
    Lou B Lou, Trish, Wyva and 3 others like this.
  6. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    But who wants to pay money for a book that is likely problematic?
     
  7. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Indeed. Especially as I saw somewhere that it's about 1000 pages, a lot of them filled with pretend tweets. I'm still a fan of the Harry Potter books, but I've attempted to read 2 of JKR's books for adults and found them unreadably badly written.
     
  8. Braganca

    Braganca Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I don’t know exactly either what’s going on.. but was concerned by the tweets. She’s have obv been in press a lot about her comments on trans people. This book is being criticized as if she is taking her personal experience as inspiration and writing a protagonist in a similar situation, so looking to position herself / the protagonist as a victim. I’m sure more will be written about the disability aspect in coming days.
     
    AndroidEeyore, Sarah94, Wyva and 5 others like this.
  9. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I've read the reviews on Amazon. 1 star reviews mostly focus on the unreadablity of the texts on Kindle as the print size is too small.
    5 star reviews are clearly all fans of the series and pleased to read the next installment in the lives of the central characters.
    A few reviewers are unimpressed by the writing and story, or thought it too long.

    None of the reviews mention chronic illness.
     
  10. Ariel

    Ariel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    She seems to have parts of her book referencing "spoonie" twitter accounts where the intent is to be snide or mock it. I think Rowling is targeting "extremely online" chronically ill people as they will have been some of the people criticizing her for her views on and comments about trans people.

    She appears to want to go after ME/CFS in particular which she calls CF probably to troll the community. I saw another user saying this means she knows enough about ME politics to do this, and I believe this is probably the case otherwise she would have used CFS. (CF is cystic fibrosis which she clearly did not mean). ME and ME/CFS are very common in so-called-"spoonie" bios, accounts which have been fairly critical of her.

    This is speculation but perhaps she felt that her family member with MS had a "real" condition whereas others do not; I saw someone trying to say that having a disabled family member meant she could not be ableist, which is obviously nonsense. Rather it can be the opposite for some people (including other disabled people), who can develop prejudices and/or lateral ableism through their experiences. I think it's possible she's been exposed to some of the "debate" about ME/CFS through media coverage or her family experience and did it intentionally as an acceptable target when trying to mock "spoonies" who have said bad things about her online. It's acceptable among some people to mock people with ME/CFS and not people with cystic fibrosis or MS. Ricky Gervais did a "joke" about us some years ago, and there is a knowledge base in people Rowling's age from which to come up with stuff to mock us. (She also used POTS, which some people have in their bios as well. She seems to be mocking people with many letters of illnesses in their bio, which is very common on twitter.)

    To the extent that anyone becomes more aware of ME/CFS though this episode, I think this is a good thing for our community as there is already a lot of antipathy towards her due to her stance on trans issues and it may raise awareness of our condition to an already sympathetic community of people.
     
  11. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Don't have a copy of the book to check, but if this extract is accurate, she uses "CFS" elsewhere in the book:

    https://twitter.com/user/status/1565066212085833728



    Again, if the extracts posted on Twitter are accurate, she has used "POTs" - not "POTS".

    The acronym for Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is usually written as "POTS" (see ICD-11 and ICD-10-CM Release for FY2023) or as "PoTS" - not "POTs".
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2022
  12. Ariel

    Ariel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://twitter.com/user/status/1565680852050255873


    An interesting thread trying to interpret what has happened. I think this sums up the dynamics currently. The fact that she targets CFS in particular is likely to be lost as a much wider group of people are disabled, chronically ill, and online. It's probably common among certain circles to try to put sick people online in some kind of "SJW" blob of condescension and ridicule. After all, their accounts are everywhere and rather than considering why disabled and chronically ill may be online a lot, some people may just decide to mock the whole thing to undermine whatever messages they have in a blanket way.
     
  13. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Is the book part of the Cormoran Strike series? I saw TV productions of a couple of those stories, and I quite enjoyed them—especially the first series, which was done really well. Until, that is, someone revealed they hadn't cast an actual disabled actor as Strike, but created the shots of the character without his prosthesis using CGI.

    I was pretty dismayed, as I know from decades of working in theatre how hard it is for disabled actors to get work. A lot of directors already seem to think that scripts need to mention a character being disabled before they can cast a disabled actor (which is a bit like saying you can only cast a blonde if the script stipulates the character has fair hair); this script actually DOES say the character is disabled, but they still cast a non-disabled actor.

    Anyway, I'm possibly veering off-topic, but she may have some "previous" around disability issues.
     
  14. adambeyoncelowe

    adambeyoncelowe Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    One of the fictional Twitter accounts has 'ME' in their handle and tweets at her protagonist about recent mitochondrial research. Which suggests a) that she reads #MillionsMissing tweets but ignores them (or considers them abusive?)* and b) that she knows enough about what we talk about online to make a very specific reference to us.

    *Maybe she's been talking to a sir or professor somewhere to share stories?
     
  15. Ariel

    Ariel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    To me this all comes across as her being in a similar social circle to such people, and having likely heard those kinds of stories and background information from such sirs and professors. They all seem to want to paint themselves as victims of people on twitter/patients/etc in a similar self-serving and false way.

    ETA: Comparatively powerful people often bond with eachother using questionable narratives of their own victimhood, from my observations. (Eg alleged hate mail, death threats received, and so on.) They then move together in groups of like-minded "persecuted" powerful people.
     
  16. adambeyoncelowe

    adambeyoncelowe Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Hobnobbing got them this far...
     
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  17. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

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  18. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It's mostly bizarre and sad, from what I've seen. The endless fake tweets are super weird and being from the UK, JK probably got some of the nastiness from the press and added it in there without much thought. It's a few lines out of what seems to be hundreds.

    I wouldn't put much thought into this. But this again shows the intersection of extremist politics, anti-trans mostly, and how much they hate the chronically ill just as much as our BPS overlords, seem to think pretty much the same of us for similar reasons: some people just have to punch down to feel good about themselves. It's the troll way.
     
  19. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm still withholding judgement on JKR's views on disability as shown in the book, as characters are often written in fiction with abhorrent views not held by the author, and all we've seen is a few pages in tweets where a character is shown expressing ignorance.

    I've been looking for reviews. Here are a few quotes:
    https://inews.co.uk/culture/books/the-ink-black-heart-jk-rowling-robert-galbraith-review-1825036
    https://ew.com/books/j-k-rowling-the-ink-black-heart-transphobic-character/

    https://www.currentaffairs.org/2022...novel-shows-why-having-an-editor-is-important

    So I get from that the central character who is killed is accused of being racist and ableist etc. and is killed by a mysogynist.

    That doesn't tell me that JKR is ableist, nor does it tell me she's not.
     
  20. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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