Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the best-seller that almost never happened

Dahl’s young nephew read a draft, told him it was rubbish and so – we must assume, as it has never been found among Dahl’s otherwise meticulously kept papers – the writer threw it away. Read more »

Illustration: Quentin Blake (obviously!) 


But if agents and publishers turn up their noses at your deathless prose, these days you can bypass them entirely and publish independently. Indeed, Amazon reports that self-published books represent as much as a quarter of the top-selling list of titles on their Kindle e-book platform.

But it won’t be cheap. Want to self-publish your immortal novel? That’ll be $6,000
Photo: REX

But if agents and publishers turn up their noses at your deathless prose, these days you can bypass them entirely and publish independently. Indeed, Amazon reports that self-published books represent as much as a quarter of the top-selling list of titles on their Kindle e-book platform.

But it won’t be cheap. Want to self-publish your immortal novel? That’ll be $6,000

Photo: REX

nprbooks:

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