Harry Potter author receives James Joyce award from Dublin university.

Acclaimed author J.K. Rowling visited UCD last night (12/02) to receive the prestigious James Joyce Award from the university’s Literary and Historical society. Rowling’s Harry Potter books have sold in excess of 400 million copies and spawned a multi-billion dollar movie series. A crowd of over four hundred people packed into UCD’s largest lecture hall to catch a glimpse of the author. “This is just what I imagined the Ministry of Magic to look like,” she quipped. Rowling read from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to a captive audience before she took questions from the floor.

She gave away no details about the two upcoming Potter movies, the sixth of which began filming last week. However, one curious fan questioned whether or not the filming of the series had impacted on her approach to writing the books. “Not directly,” she replied. “Although there were moments writing the last book where I’d stop and ask myself, how much is this going to cost? Towards the end of book seven, for example, there’s a battle scene that features giants. That’s what, 900,000 dollars for two pages? That’s not bad going.”

 
Her recent revelation that Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts School, was gay prompted two questions. “Of course Dumbledore was gay,” she joked. “He always wore the best robes!”

 
Rowling also praised Irish actress Evanna Lynch who plays Luna Lovegood in the film series. “Out of all the actors in the films, Evanna’s voice is the only one I heard in my head while I was writing. She is Luna Lovegood in real life, and I don’t think she’ll mind me saying that.”

For her efforts, Rowling received two standing ovations and wiped away a tear from her eye at the end of her reading. She concluded the evening by signing copies of her books for students who had won a raffle earlier in the week. Recent recipients of the James Joyce Award include U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and Hollywood entertainer Will Ferrell.