For J.K. Rowling, the act of anonymity represented a big action -- she went to great lengths to remain behind the curtain of a pseudonym -- but it also was a way for her to appear small, and to give pleasure without the burden of fame.
It was hard for me to love these characters. More than once, I thought of putting the book down because these characters are so real, so raw, that they become dislikable and at the same time, curiously familiar. They remind me of the neighbors Jesus calls me to love.
It is an excellent read. More importantly for me, though, it is the kind of book that I have dreamed about having the world's prominent authors write about: with Sikh characters and references, but as a normal, ordinary part of the narrative, not in the form of lectures and essays.
Dear Mrs. Rowling, let me state for the record that I have not read your new novel, The Casual Vacancy, and though I have not skimmed one single page, I must be honest about the depth of your deception, lies, and skullduggery.
With the often-ridiculous U.S. presidential race in full swing, there's at least a 47 percent chance you'd like to forget about politicians for a few hours by immersing yourself in a novel. But be careful which novel you choose, because some of them feature ... politicians!