Rowl­ing, Tolkien, Austen nov­els vie for brag­ging rights

The Standard Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Lynn Elber AP Tele­vi­sion Writer

LOS AN­GE­LES — The re­sults are in for an im­pas­sioned na­tional elec­tion that put the pop­u­lar­ity of candidates Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowl­ing on the line.

The ef­fort to dis­cover Amer­ica’s best-loved novel — and pro­mote read­ing — the win­ner was an­nounced dur­ing PBS’ “The Great Amer­i­can Read.” (News on the win­ner will be in the Nov. 7 edi­tion on the En­ter­tain­ment page.)

The se­ries pro­filed the con­tenders and let book­worms, fa­mous and not, ad­vo­cate for their pick.

More than 4 mil­lion votes were cast over six months, PBS said, with Austen’s “Pride and Prej­u­dice,” Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” se­ries and Rowl­ing’s “Harry Pot­ter” saga mak­ing the top 10 on an al­pha­bet­i­cal-or­der list that was re­leased as vot­ing wrapped last week.

The other front-run­ners were “Char­lotte’s Web” by E.B. White; “The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia” se­ries by C.S. Lewis; “Gone with the Wind” by Mar­garet Mitchell; “Jane Eyre” by Char­lotte Bronte; “Lit­tle Women” by Louisa May Al­cott; the “Out­lander” se­ries by Diana Ga­bal­don; and “To Kill a Mock­ing­bird” by Harper Lee.

“Harry Pot­ter” was among the mul­ti­vol­ume se­ries that counted as a sin­gle en­try. Given its hold on the mod­ern imag­i­na­tion on the page, screen and stage, it might be the ob­vi­ous win­ner.

Eliyan­nah Yis­rael, who dis­cov­ered Rowl­ing’s magic touch about 15 years ago as a Chicago State Univer­sity stu­dent, was among its vo­cal boost­ers on “The Great Amer­i­can Read” and be­yond.

“Lis­ten, me and ‘Harry Pot­ter’ are go­ing to take this thing to the end. I want to be vic­to­ri­ous,” Yis­rael told a TV crit­ics’ gather­ing last sum­mer.

/ AP

J.R.R. Tolkien, author of “The Lord of the Rings,” se­ries in 1967, left, and J.K. Rowl­ing, author of the “Harry Pot­ter” se­ries at the “Harry Pot­ter and the Cursed Child” Broad­way open­ing in New York on April 22, 2018.

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