Monthly Archives: July 2013

A Cuckoo’s Calling: the reaction

There has been a staggering response to our story last weekend that revealed JK Rowling to have authored and published a second novel for adults under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

It made headlines around the world, and signed first editions of the book are now changing hands for more than £2,500 online.

The New York Times wrote an interesting article about how we broke the story, which you may be interested to read. It can be found here.

The initial tip came via Twitter, from a woman called Jude Callegari. Her identity and motivation was a mystery until this week, when she was revealed to be a friend of one of Rowling’s solicitors.

During our investigation,  I approached two academics who had developed their own ‘stylometric’ computer programs, which aim to distinguish between authors’ writing styles. They were Patrick Juola of Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, and Peter Millican of Oxford University. Both found strong similarities between the books, strengthening our case.

The National Geographic has written an interesting blog outlining the principles of stylometrics (or, forensic linguistics), which can be found here. Similarly, a Wall Street Journal write up can be found here.

The frontlines of gentrification

Photo by Jake Lewis/Vice

Forced evictions in six blocks on my street this week prompted protests against perceived gentrification in Brixton. I wrote an essay on my conflicted feelings about the ‘rise’ of my adopted home, from crime capital to foodie haven.

It was published online at the New Statesman here, and full text is after the fold. and Brixton Blog both published some great images of the protests and the resistance from within the squats themselves: see them here and here.

And, with perfect timing, Stylist magazine this week declared Brixton one of the ‘coolest neighbourhoods in the world’. I’ll miss it.

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JK Rowling’s secret crime novel

JK Rowling's secret book

I worked on the investigation in The Sunday Times last weekend that revealed JK Rowling to have secretly released a crime novel for adults, under a false identity.

She posed as Robert Galbraith, a former military policeman, when her latest novel was released in March. A Cuckoo’s Calling was warmly reviewed but sold fewer than 2000 hardback copies. Since our article was published, sales of the book on Amazon have leapt by 150,000%.

I’m not credited on the front page, but shared a byline with arts editor Richard Brooks on the inside write up. Full text can be found on the Sunday Times website here, or after the fold.

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