J.K. Rowling Chats with Jon Stewart About Welfare and Why America Needs 'a Monarch'

2012-36 REP J.K. Rowling H

"The Casual Vacanc"y sold 500,000 copies in six days.

In her extended interview with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, author J.K. Rowling chatted about the social aspects of The Casual Vacancy and even made an amusing case for why the U.S. needed a monarch.

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"You know, what you need is a monarch," said Rowling. "No, seriously, I feel like we [Britain] split the function. So we have a head of state, clearly, who is the monarch. And then we are able to treat our politicians with utter contempt." The comment drew laughs, and Stewart seemed to enjoy contemplating the idea himself.

Earlier in the interview, the Comedy Central host asked Rowling about the "social aspect" of her new adult novel, The Casual Vacancy -- which revolves around a small parish council election -- and wondered how Rowling's early financial struggles informed the writing of the book. 

"I couldn't have written this book if I hadn't had a few years where I had been, really, as poor as it is possible to go in the U.K. without being homeless," Rowling explained."I mean, I had friends who helped me, but I had no friends or family who were in position to give me a house, so we were on welfare -- what you would call welfare I would call benefits."

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Stewart, perhaps in reference the lukewarm reception to the book, also wondered if it was "difficult to place yourself back into a realm where people had to solve things on a purely human level" away from magic and wizards.

Nope, said Rowling. "This wasn't the first time I'd put myself in the real world, but I would say that in a very real sense in Potter, the magic didn't actually solve a lot."

Watch part one of the interview below: