The excellent folks over at the Guardian have put together a handy guide for figuring out whether you’re reading a gothic novel: Scary eyed villain? Virginal, fainting heroine? Spooky castle? Ghost? YES PLEASE! Also, now I REALLY need to read The Mysteries of Udolpho.

— Petra

Image via Guardian Books

Thanks for sharing, nprbooks!

Daniel Radcliffe has described his acting in one of the Harry Potter films as so “complacent” and “one-note” that he struggles to watch it.

Interviewed by the Mail on Sunday, Radcliffe said the Potter series was “an incredible blessing” because it gave him the chance of a career in film. But he admitted he hated certain instalments, because “the moments I’m not as proud of, mistakes other actors get to make in rehearsal rooms or at drama school, are all on film for everyone to see”.

Read more of Daniel Radcliffe’s comments 

Photo: Most Wanted/Rex Features

“Those boys took my body and they broke it. And so, when I ate, I got to make my body into what I wanted it to be, which is a fortress”

Roxane Gay, “the bad feminist”, is 39 now, and over the last 18 years she has published countless pieces of fiction and non-fiction, only to find herself described in recent months as an overnight sensation. This tickles her; she thinks of herself as a shy person, and when you praise her work, a self-conscious hand rises to cover her eyes and smile.

» Read the full interview 

Roxane Gay: meet the bad feminist

She likes pink, will dance to Blurred Lines, occasionally fakes an orgasm … and worries that the sisterhood would not approve. America’s brightest new essayist talks about the dark side of her fierce, funny writing 

Read the full interview • Extract: the bad feminist manifesto

Photo: Jennifer Silverberg for the Guardian

George RR Martin has issued a definitive “fuck you” to fans wondering if he will finish his lengthy fantasy series before he dies.

Asked by Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger about readers’ worries that A Song of Ice and Fire might not be completed by the author, Martin responded:

"I find that question pretty offensive, frankly, when people start speculating about my death and my health, so fuck you to those people".

In case the message wasn’t entirely clear, he then gave “those people” the finger. Full story here

Photo: Still from Tages Anzeiger’s video interview

“From boardrooms to the streets, women’s anxiety to keep our body mass as low as possible is based on legitimate fears that we will be punished if we attempt fully to enter patriarchal space. No wonder so many of us are starving.”
— In this exclusive extract from her new book, Laurie Penny talks about her eating disorder, the pressure on girls to be beautiful and why weight is a political issue. Read it here

The long list of male alcoholic authors is well known, but what about their literary sisters? Olivia Laing looks back on the great female writers who sought refuge in the bottle and salvation on the page

Marguerite Duras in France, c1955. Photo: Robert Doisneau/Getty