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'I have always wanted to write a novel, it felt like playing a new and intoxicating game and you were always trying to discover the rules'

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Good news, too, for fans of Ian Rankin’s famous DI Rebus, after the author implied that the retired detective will make a comeback in the novel he is currently writing

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: Oscar Wilde's cabbage

So the story goes, a malodorous cabbage landed at Oscar Wilde's feet as he addressed his audience. "Thank you, my friend," said the celebrated wit, raconteur and playwright as he picked it up. "Every time I smell it, I shall be reminded of you." It's probably an apocryphal tale, but it's based on a vegetable-related incident that took place 120 years ago today at St James's Theatre, London, at the premiere of Wilde's play, The Importance of Being Earnest.

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Ailment: Not having a Valentine

Frieda Hughes at the Independent Bath Literature festival

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It’s two decades since the Bath Literature Festival was launched, and this year’s  line-up is the best yet

Friday Book Design Blog: The Ecliptic, by Benjamin Wood

This came through the door this week: the proof for the second novel by Benjamin Wood, author of The Bellwether Revivals, which I haven’t read. I’m not entirely sure this new one, which is published in July, is my kind of thing either, but I love the cover, with its two versions of the (exact?) same image, split and rotated at a 180 degree angle to each other.

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The life story, fictionalised or otherwise, has exploded in popularity

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Where are you now and what can you see?

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in a scene from 'Gone Girl'

Happy Valentine's Day and long live domestic dysfunction

So! Some literary food for thought for 14 February: if you’re a freshly courting couple, it won’t last. If you’ve been married a while, he’s having an affair with his laptop. And if you’ve got it all – husband, kids, house, garden, hamster – it’s doomed to unravel through marital infidelity, abducted kids, dad stepping on the hamster and then deep-freezing it, mum having a fantasy affair with the man installing the expensive kitchen. Affairs aplenty. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Gripping yarn: Will Smith

Will Smith's new book 'Mainlander': John le Carré meets 'Middlemarch'

Known as an actor in 'The Thick of It' and a writer for 'Veep', Will Smith has turned novelist for his next venture, with a mystery thriller set in the Channel Islands

Michael Christie

The art of good, and bad, memoir writing, and the interplay between fact and fabrication (by a fiction writer)!

'The real truth is that the past is a building burned-down, and all we writers can ever do is reconstruct it, with entirely different boards and bricks'

Speaking out: The author Roma Tearne

Ariadne’s Thread: In memory of W.G. Sebald by Philippa Comber, book review: How Sebald remains a great inspiration for writer, Roma Tearne

The Saint Malo literary festival provides a special book train for the participants coming to it from Paris. A few years ago after the festival had finished, as I was boarding this train, another writer rushed along the platform calling my name. He knew me simply from an article I once wrote mentioning W. G. Sebald.

Off the wall: Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle on his new novel, Roy Keane, and writing about ordinary people's lives

Roddy Doyle's new book 'Dead Man Talking', costs just £1. Aimed at people with poor literacy, it is inspired by a death in his own family, the Booker winner tells Arifa Akbar

Class act: Julia McKenzie and Keeley Hawes in 'The Casual Vacancy'

JK Rowling weaves her magic again: The Casual Vacancy comes to TV

Gerard Gilbert goes behind the scenes and talks to its stars Julia McKenzie and Keeley Hawes

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