Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Illinois Department of English Blog


Welcome to the Department of English blog.

My name is Vicki Mahaffey and I took over as
head of the department on July 1, 2016. I'll be using this site to post updates and information of interest to our faculty, students, and alumni,
along with reflections about our discipline(s) in particular and the humanities in general. As anyone who has ever worked or studied here knows, the Department of English is a vibrant place. If you have something you'd like to see posted here, or if you want to contact me about the content of this blog, drop me an email at

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ted Sanders > Robert Galbraith

A few weeks ago, the news broke that a modestly well-received detective novel called The Cuckoo's Calling, ostensibly written by a first-time author named Robert Galbraith, had actually been written and published pseudonymously by J. K. Rowling.  The book shot up bestseller lists at once, of course, and occasioned numerous jokes among academic authors whose readership is, um, a bit smaller.  As in: "I'm not saying that J.K. Rowling ghost-wrote my recent book on Jacobean court poetry, but one never knows, right?  Buy it and see."

Allow me to be the first person to make the same joke about Ted Sanders, whose novel The Box and the Dragonfly--the first book in a series called "The Keepers"--will be published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in 2014.  Ted is a very observant, precise, and accomplished writer, who I have had occasion to boast about in this space before.  So I've got to think this is going to be huge!  And who knows, people, maybe he also ghostwrote all of my my books too, in his spare time.  Buy 'em and see?      

Seriously, though, readers of this blog can anticipate many more posts about this in 2014 and thereafter, because publications on this scale make significant media waves.  For now, though, I am really only posting in order to provide a link to an anticipatory ripple: a nice story about Sanders in the local paper from this past weekend.  Ted's personal webpage is here, too, and there is a nice interview with him by our own Philip Graham that is available online here.  

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