Norah Hoult and her friend Nuala Nally: “Norah Hoult is a very good example of a woman writer who falls completely out of fashion and is forgotten. She was an absolutely brilliant writer,” says Persephone publisher Nicola Beauman. Photograph: Nuala Nally

On this day 117 years ago, Norah Hoult was born in Dublin. You’ve probably never heard of her, but she has come to mean a lot to me. Born in 1898 t(...)

Tracey Thorn’s first book Bedsit Disco Queen was an understated chronicle of life as a musician. It wasn’t overtly confessional, but what made it so c(...)

Marc Almond: ‘Journalists would ask about my sexuality, so I’d give some Bowie-esque answer about ambiguity’

There was a time when Thursday night Top of the Pops was a shared ritual. Living in a TV land that consisted of a handful of channels was a factor,(...)

 Patricia Highsmith poses at home in Locarno, Switzerland in 1987. Photograph:  Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

In 1948, at the age of 27, Patricia Highsmith had an idea for a novel: two men, strangers to each other, meet on a train and agree to swap murders, th(...)

 Nick Cave in 20,000 Days on Earth, a film directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard

Twenty-five years ago the German film-maker Uli M Schüppel made The Road to God Knows Where, a documentary that followed Nick Cave and the Bad Seed(...)

 Kim Gordon  and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth perform  in New York in 2009. Photograph: Mark Von Holden/Getty Images

One of the most surprising things about Kim Gordon, when she picks up the phone on the American west coast, is how quiet she sounds. Seeing as she’s t(...)

Last year the writer and illustrator Joanna Walsh created a series of hand-drawn bookmarks of some of her female literary heroes. Among them were G(...)

Seamus Heaney. Photographer: Jack McManus

Lisa Hannigan Singer Anahorish, soft gradient, of consonant, vowel-meadow. I was really stuck for ages last year and took to reading Se(...)

In his introduction to this book James Robertson explains the challenge he set himself for 2013: could he write 365 stories – one for each day of t(...)

Sara Baume: ‘There’s no guarantee that you’ll ever finish a book or that you’ll even get a publisher – and even when you do, you panic about the reviews, or the second novel’

‘To some people it might look like I’ve just popped up really quickly, but it’s been five years since I finished the creative writing master’s in T(...)