10 iconic authors inspired by an animal muse

Literary history is jam packed with women whose charisma has helped fire up writers’ creative urges. Think Zelda Fitzgerald, Louise Joyce, and Vivienne Eliot. But not all these magical muses have been women. In fact, many have not even been human. For a broad spectrum of fantastic writers this role has been filled by a furry or even feathered friends. Here’s ten iconic authors whose animals were more than just pets, they were an essential part of their creative process.

The 6 books that turned Roald Dahl into an insatiable reader

This day, ninety-seven years ago, the legendary author Roald Dahl was born to Norwegian parents in Wales. He went on to become one of the world’s best selling authors. Famed for darkly humorous children’s classics like James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches, he first started writing during the Forties when he was a fighter pilot in North Africa.

Novel story: 14 little known facts about the writing of 1984

George Orwell's 1984 has been translated into sixty-five languages, yet is one of the world's top ten most banned books. What is it about this iconic novel, which has made it so widely read yet so subversive? To find out read these little known facts about the story of its creation.

5 ways Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club will change how you look at the world

The first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club – but where would be the fun in that? Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 novel – which began its publication career as a short story of the same name in the 1995 anthology, Pursuit of Happiness – has spawned not only David Fincher’s iconic movie, but a whole cult following for Palahniuk and his underground boxing creations.

Folk of Genius: The 5 unusual habits of George Orwell

George Orwell: the originator of Big Brother, Double-Speak and the Thought Police, author of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, numerous non-fiction books and journalism, one-time BBC producer, soldier and socialist. One of the greats, no doubt about it. But like many creative sorts, Orwell had his idiosyncrasies...