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Little, Brown and Company
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TODAY.com
updated 7/3/2012 1:31:48 PM ET 2012-07-03T17:31:48

The cover of J.K. Rowling's upcoming 512-page novel, "The Casual Vacancy," was revealed Tuesday by publisher Little, Brown and Company.

The design of the prolific author's first adult book venture favors swirly script and bold colors over the splashy, action-packed cover art of the Harry Potter series.

A simple box marked with an X hints at the novel's spotlight on small-town politics, but not very much else.

At least Harry Potter fans lamenting the loss of their favorite wizard might find some solace in the new book cover's red and yellow theme — a subtle nod to the colors of Gryffindor, perhaps?

Story: Harry Potter author has deal for new novel — for adults

Along with the cover art, Little, Brown and Company also posted an updated synopsis of the forthcoming novel:

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations?

Story: Sizzling summer reads with Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich

"The Casual Vacancy" will be released on September 27.

Tell us in the comments: Are you planning on reading the book?

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Video: J.K. Rowling to write adult novel

  1. Closed captioning of: J.K. Rowling to write adult novel

    >>> big news in the literary world, jmt k. recalling, author of the " harry potter " sears is turning in a different way, publishing for grown-ups.

    >> reporter: those magical " harry potter " books flew off shelves around the world, nearly a million copes from america to afghanistan. the movie, the phenomenon, made single mom j.k. rowling who was once on welfare, the first billionaire author.

    >> i read them all, yeah, i loved them.

    >> reporter: well, now, sorry kids and wizard wannabes. this next one is not for you. in september j.k. will publish her debut novel for adults called "the casual vacancy." the novel is set in a fictional little englishtown where everything looks real pretty, but all is not as it seems. a town at war, her publisher describes, individuals at war, technologicalliers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbandens, called slightly comic and quite surprising. no, no wizards or dragons or slobber worms. just regular people . so what is it about little englishtowns -- that they're all at war. those parrish towns, little busy buzz. they're completely at war.

    >> reporter: are there things lurking behind corners and seething between cracks?

    >> yeah, there would be.

    >> reporter: hmm.

    >> j.k. rowels is the biggest publishing property. publishing her first adult novel is big, big news.

    >> reporter: critics are wondering if people will embrace j.k. without harry. many call her, one word, "great." for "today," michelle kosinski , nbc news, london.

    >> that's a lot of pressure.

    >> i was going to say. that's tough. when you have this series that you had that was so phenomenal and so beloved. is it ever going to rise to that same level?

    >> i'm kind of rest on your laurels.

    >> i was good enough then,

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