That Time J.K. Rowling Almost Snatched a Baby

Illustration for article titled That Time J.K. Rowling Almost Snatched a Baby

The elusive J.K. Rowling (elusive except for that 9,000-word profile in the New Yorker last year) bequeathed an interview to the Daily Mail, and talked about that one time she almost snatched a baby from a bleak, Dickensian orphanage in Eastern Europe.


How is it that J.K. Rowling came to the brink of baby-snatching? Thrilled you asked! The writer is a big supporter of an organization called Lumos (yes, named after a spell in the Potter books), which aims to improve children’s care in some of Europe’s poorest countries. While making a “secret” tour of a particularly heart-wrenching orphanage in Eastern Europe, Rowling spotted a baby girl in pretty poor circumstances:

I’m an emotional person. I struggle with that a lot in this kind of situation.

There was one little baby, a girl, and I was standing at this cot and I just thought, ‘I will take her.’ It was irrational but that’s your human response. There was no earthly way I could take this baby home but that is your most powerful reaction. You think as a mother, ‘I will save this baby, this one baby.’

You know? I can definitely see J.K. Rowling wandering Europe in a tattered cloak, saving forlorn orphans and bringing them back to live in her mansion. It would at least make for good novel fodder, and we can only hope that one day we, the reading public, get to look at a rough draft of J.K. Rowling’s unfinished masterpiece, L.M. Fowling and the Orphans of Azkaban.

[Daily Mail]

Image via Getty, Ben A. Pruchnie


And then she channeled those impulses into starting a charity to help those children. Rowling seems like the kind of person who strikes a good balance between feeling things and doing things, and I respect that she seems to feel a responsibility about her wealth.