The latest detective novel of Edinburgh-based author JK Rowling has been widely criticised as ‘transphobic’ after a review published in the Sunday Telegraph revealed details of the plot.
Troubled Blood, according to critic Jake Kerridge, revolves around the disappearance of a woman believed to be the victim of a man who dresses up as a woman.
“One wonders,” the review reads, “what critics of Rowling’s stance on trans issues will make of a book whose moral seems to be: never trust a man in a dress.”
Rowling, who strongly denies being transphobic, was criticised earlier this year after she published a personal essay that critics say suggested trans rights endangered other women.
News of her latest book’s plot yesterday was met with dismay from some trans people and their supporters on social media, many of whom claimed the it was an attempt to portray them as a threat.
Trans journalist Imara Jones asked followers on Twitter: “Does JK Rowling realize that she’s literally putting trans people’s lives at risk?
“We are regularly killed based on the idea that: 1) we’re predators and: 2) we aren’t real.”
Paris Lees, a trans journalist and presenter wrote: “I don't expect people who aren't trans to every truly understand, but all I can tell you is that it's beyond depressing to live day in day out under the threat and memory of violence towards you while simultaneously being told that you are in fact the threat.
“It's completely sick,” she added.
But TV and film star Robbie Coltrane defended the author, saying he does not find her views offensive.
Coltrane, 70, who played gamekeeper Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, suggested instead that people are too easily offended.
He told the Radio Times: “I don’t think what she said was offensive really. I don’t know why but there’s a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended.
“They wouldn’t have won the war, would they? That’s me talking like a grumpy old man, but you just think, ‘Oh, get over yourself. Wise up, stand up straight and carry on.’”
The Cracker star said he did not want to comment further because, “I don’t want to get involved in all of that because of all the hate mail and all that s***, which I don’t need at my time of life”.
In a self-published essay earlier this year, Ms Rowling wrote that she wanted trans women - who suffer very high rates of physical and sexual abuse - to be safe, but insisted that “sex is real, and has lived consequences.”
She also claimed that proposed changes to gender recognition laws would endanger cisgendered women by allowing “all men to come in” to female-only spaces.