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J.K. Rowling: Goodbye, Wizards. Hello, Sex Scenes!

J.K. Rowling's first adult novel, ''The Casual Vacancy,'' will hit stores on Sept. 27

After living in the world of child wizards for 10 years, J.K. Rowling was understandably ready to try something new. ''There are certain things you just don't do in fantasy,'' the author, 47 — who's releasing her first-ever novel for adults and her first book of any kind since 2008 — recently told The New Yorker. ''You don't have sex near unicorns. It's an ironclad rule. It's tacky.'' But there are no such limitations for her new novel, The Casual Vacancy (out Sept. 27), which depicts the infighting that erupts in a small English town after the sudden death of a local councilman. And yes, it reportedly includes foul language, drugs, and some steamy scenes sure to make Hermione blush. While The Casual Vacancy has little in common with Harry Potter, a familiar sense of secrecy and speculation has characterized the run-up to the publication — librarians, booksellers, and critics signed countless nondisclosure agreements, and reveals of the title and nondescript cover have made headlines. Rowling has said she hoped for a ''run-of-the-mill'' publishing experience, but when you're one of the wealthiest and most beloved authors of all time, that's just too much to ask.

Originally posted Sep 28, 2012 Published in issue #1227 Oct 05, 2012 Order article reprints