Rowling Studies 2: The Christmas Pig

Happy New Year, Rowling Readers! To celebrate the season, Nick Jeffery and I recorded a discussion of J. K. Rowling’s 2021 holiday classic, The Christmas Pig. Both of us believe, albeit for very different reasons, that it is one of Rowling’s best works, maybe even the actual very best; the short book is what each of us recommend to friends who have never read anything by The Presence (we have such friends, believe it or not) and who want to read something that will give them an idea of what all the fuss is about.

I suspect strongly that Christmas Pig in the not too distant future will be to J. K. Rowling what Christmas Carol  or Tale of Two Cities are to Charles Dickens, namely the very short (compared to the author’s other works) but very representative stories that are read in secondary school English classes and college English literature surveys and time period courses to ‘expose’ the Great Unwashed to the greatness of the Greats. For reasons Nick and I discuss at great length, Christmas Pig is a great choice to do just that.

Judging from the enthusiastic response of our Substack subscribers, all of whom receive ‘Rowling Studies’ podcast links directly in their inbox, there is a growing appreciation of this Christmas story. The possibility that there may be an embedded clue to Strikes 8, 9, and 10 in the palace of King Power — is Memory suggesting that Amelia Crichton is lying about Charlotte’s supposed suicide? — has even the Serious Strikers re-reading Christmas Pig with heightened attention.

If you would rather read the extensive HogwartsProfessor exegesis of Christmas Pig, I collected the Greatest Hits of our labors in a one-stop post here. However you revisit the book that just may be the template for the Strike series finale — Evan Willis’ Tetractys Theory holds that Strikes 8, 9, and 10 will use Casual Vacancy, The Ickabog, and The Christmas Pig the way the first seven books did their apposite numbers in the Hogwarts Saga (cf. the Parallel Series Idea) — we hope it makes the 12 days of Christmas that much brighter for you. Happy New Year, one and all! 

Post: A bit of fun I was sent by Lynne —


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