See the cover for 'The Casual Vacancy' by J.K. Rowling

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Little, Brown has released the cover for The Casual Vacancy, which is sure to be one of the buzziest books of the year when it’s released Sept. 27. Following the aesthetics of recent literary titles like The Marriage Plot and The Art of Fielding, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel will sport swoopy script, solid colors, and minimal design. The checkbox on the cover is likely a nod to the political themes of the book, which takes place in a small England town roiled by controversy. The novel will be 512 pages long. Here’s an updated plot summary from the publisher:

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations?

A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J. K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

What do you think of the very grownup cover? Do you appreciate the understated art and the vaguely Gryffindor colors, or do you want Mary GrandPré back?

Follow Stephan on Twitter: @EWStephanLee

Read more:
J.K. Rowling announces title, release date, and details of her next book
Original ‘Harry Potter’ manuscript goes on tour
J.K. Rowling is writing another Harry Potter book… sort of!

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