One of the great partnerships in world literature is over.
J K Rowling has parted company with Christopher Little, who was the first to recognise the brilliance of Harry Potter and sent the manuscript to 12 publishers before finding one independent imprint, Bloomsbury, that shared his faith.
Rowling says the ‘painful decision’ was not taken ‘without good reason’.
It is not clear whether this drastic move is connected in any way with her new website, Pottermore. But the Bookseller reports that Rowling’s personal agent at Christopher Little, Neil Blair, has also left the agency and is setting up on his own with Rowling as his first client. Blair is listed as one of the directors of Pottermore.
Little, 69, was said to be ‘disappointed and surprised’.
Whatever the background, this is a major upheaval in literary publishing.