J.K. Rowling vs. Unknown Authors vs. Robert Galbraith

Dysfunctional Literacy

Literary news doesn’t usually get covered by the mainstream media.  If one author cheats on his/her spouse, it doesn’t make news.  If an author has a wardrobe malfunction at an awards ceremony, nobody reports it.  To most people, the literary world is kind of (or very) boring.  Occasionally, an author will get caught plagiarizing.  Sometimes two authors get in a public spat (like Philip Roth and Elizabeth Gilbert over whether or not writing is torture).  But literary figures don’t normally catch the general public’s interest. 

When unknown author Robert Galbraith got outed as J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym last week, that made the news.  Outlets that usually ignore literary stuff reported the revelation.  It helps that everybody knows J.K. Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter books.  It also helps that she’s attractive.  But while it’s nice that a literary figure can make news, there might be a down side (but not for…

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