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Harry Potter: What about book 5?

Friday, November 15, 2002

By the Associated Press

Legions of Harry Potter fans waiting eagerly for the boy wizard's fifth adventure will have to make do, for now, with revisiting earlier installments in print and on film.

No release date for "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" has been set, the office of Christopher Little, author J.K. Rowling's agent, said Wednesday.

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," the second movie in the series, opens today.

The first Harry Potter book, published in 1997, was "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" -- released in the United States as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." The second and third volumes followed over the next two years, and the fourth, the mammoth "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," appeared in July 2000.

This naturally raised hopes that the fifth would follow at the same rate. But alas, two summers have passed without a sign of Harry and his magic pals reappearing.

A year ago, Rowling wrote a letter to The Scotsman newspaper insisting she was not suffering from writer's block and that there had been no intention of publishing book five in 2001.

In September, after a U.S. federal court rejected claims by an American author that Rowling had stolen ideas from her own children's books, Rowling said the stress of the lawsuit had hindered her progress on the fifth book.

Rowling said in a British Broadcasting Corp. television interview that much of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" was written but declined to say when it would be ready for publication.

"There's a lot of book done. That's all I want to say, because if I give it a date and then I pass it, everyone will be upset," she said. "I know a lot of Harry Potter fans will say, 'Just to give it to us.' But I'm a perfectionist, and I want a bit more of a tweak."

The author, who married 31-year-old anesthetist Neil Murray last year, is expecting a baby. She has a 9-year-old daughter, Jessica, from her previous marriage.

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