The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling's new book, can also be read as a parable about national politics.
JK Rowling: 'The typical rush to judge the less fortunate'
The Casual Vacancy can also be read as a parable about national politics.
"I'm interested in that drive, that rush to judgement, that is so prevalent in our society," Rowling says. "We all know that pleasurable rush that comes from condemning.
"So many people, certainly people who sit around the cabinet table, say: 'Well, it worked for me' or: 'This is how my father managed it' - these trite catchphrases - and the idea that other people might have had such a different life experience that their choices and beliefs and behaviours would be completely different from your own seems to escape a lot of otherwise intelligent people. The poor are discussed as this homogeneous mash, like porridge. The idea that they might be individuals again seems to escape some people.
"They talk about feckless teenage mothers looking for a council flat. Well, how tragic is it that that's what someone regards as the height of security? What would your life be like if that's the only possible path you can see for yourself? "
Reprinted courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd.