J. K. Rowling: Time Magazine Stringer?

Check out her rave about Gordon Brown, Prime Minister and Rowling family friend, in the Time magazine issue devoted to the world’s 100 most influential people… I confess to being a little surprised she didn’t make the list, which, I suppose, reflects my need to get out more, right?

Anyway, great to see she’s writing again (I should talk) if the fiction here isn’t as entertaining or as edifying as what we expect from the Bard of King’s Cross. Your thoughts?


  1. Red Rocker says

    These are strange and turbulent times, but issues of fairness, equality and protection of the poor have never been more important.

    Sounds like our JKR at her crusading best to me.

    As for her not making the list, I quite agree with the listmakers that she doesn’t belong there. After all, what does she have in common with Jay Leno, Zac Efron, Penelope Cruz, and (shudder) Rush Limbaugh, all of whom made the “Artists and Entertainers” List.

  2. Arabella Figg says

    Magazine lists lean to hot people of the moment, especially when it comes to artistic people, many of whom have little impact or worth in the larger scheme of things and really belong on a People list. Just as actors receive Oscars for sentimental reasons, when others’ work is far superior. Whether it’s right or not, that’s the way it is.

  3. Gordon Brown is a member of the Fabian Society:


    I mention this because, if I remember rightly, both Travis Prinzi and John Granger refer to the connection between that society’s founder members and their outlook and the members and outlook of the Order of the Phoenix and its founder Albus Dumbledore.

  4. “influential” is a rather vague term, perhaps reflected in how many of the names on the list I don’t recognize.

    But there is no denying that Leno and Limbaugh are influential – because they both have millions of viewers/listeners, they play a very big role in shaping the views of a big segment of American culture, whether or not we agree with them.

    Similarly, I think if we take the term “influential” literally, Rowling probably doesn’t belong on the list. We could argue that she possibly did up through 2007, but now that the books are done, even though we still enjoy them, she may still entertain us, but she doesn’t really *influence* us.

    At least that’s how I see it.


    (“Cristo e’ ristorto!”)

  5. Arabella Figg says

    Exactly, Nicholas. For a humorous take on influential people, read Joel Stein’s back page essay in the Time issue, below (love his comment about Lost!). And, really, they had Rowling write about Brown. I think that’s pretty good. Hope this works:

    Joel Stein Ranks the TIME 100 – The 2009 TIME 100 – TIME

  6. Arabella Figg says

    Well, it didn’t work, but you can Google it online. However, I went back over it and it’s not the essay in this week’s Time. You can probably get that through your library or at Time next week.

  7. RenaBlack says

    John–Thanks for this. :]

    Here are two unrelated links I think you’ll find interesting:

    Nicholas Kristof is great…but I did a doubletake when I saw this in my googlereader qeue:


    And this seemed somehow akin to the alchemical turn. Plus, it sounds so tasty!


  8. Off topic, but here is a good article on why Harry and Ginny should be in the top 5 literary couples……

    I happen to agree with the logic. JKR writes better romance than TIME blurbs, I think!

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