THE WOMAN BEHIND HARRY POTTER
 Joanne K. Rowling is one of the most popular modern writers. She is famous for writing the Harry Potter series, which have gained international attention and have won many prizes. Besides, she has recently published a book for adults named ‘The Casual Vacancy’.
 Rowling was born in England in 1965. During her childhood she was always interested in writing stories, and she used to narrate stories to her younger sister, Diane. Rowling studied French at university and got a degree in 1986. After graduation she worked as a secretary for a while, but she quitted as she wasn’t happy with her job. Later, she moved to Portugal to teach English. While there, she got married with a Portuguese TV journalist in 1992. Shortly after the birth of her daughter, Jessica, the marriage ended in divorce.
 Rowling then joined her sister in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she started writing her first book. At that time, she was going through difficult times. She was unemployed and lived on state benefits. she also had to take care of her baby while pursuing writing. In fact, she completed her first novel in different cafés, accompanied by her baby.
 For Rowling, success didn’t come easily. Her first work was turned down by many publishers. However, she managed to find one to publish “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and a success story began! Copies of the book were sold in millions. Actually, she didn’t expect such a success. She said,” I thought I’d written something that a handful of people might quite like. So this has been something of a shock”.
 The Harry Potter seven books have won multiple awards, including ‘The British Book Awards, Children’s Book of the Year’ and the ‘Smarties Prize’. In addition, they have sold more than 400 million copies and have been translated into over 60 languages. They have also been made into films. Furthermore, her last four books are the fastest- selling books in history.
 Thanks to the books, films and products bearing Harry Potter images, Rowling has become one of the richest people in the world. Indeed, she is considered the first person to become a multi-millionaire from writing books. She is also known as a strong financial supporter of many associations, NGOs and charities. But above all, she is credited with getting an entire generation of children interested in reading again. In 2010, she was named the “Most Influential Woman in Britain”.
Adapted from: Wikipedia
National exam | Humanities Stream | Ordinary Session 2013 with Answers