Benediction by Kent Haruf, book of a lifetime: The author describes the act of dying almost like the act of giving birth

This spring, as we were completing the summer issue of Granta, American Wild, I started reading Kent Haruf.

The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China by David Eimer, book review

Thousands of miles from Beijing, China reveals itself as far from homogenous

Survival of the Nicest by Stefan Klein, translated by David Dollenmayer, book review

Many have advocated kindness over the ages, from Aristotle to Albert Schweitzer to Charles Darwin himself. Despite recognising this, Stefan Klein endows his own pro-altruism stance with a uniqueness it doesn't have by telling us that "empathy is considered a sign of weakness", and that "the good judgement of those who … put their own interests second is called into question". This is slightly patronising – most individuals do approve of altruism, hence the consistently high reputation of doctors and nurses among the public.

Iza's Ballad by Magda Szabo, trans. George Szirtes, book review: A Hungarian history of silence

Madga Szabó was one of Hungary's pre-eminent novelists, suppressed during the Stalinist years, but hugely popular once the stranglehold of Socialist Realism had been relaxed in the late 1950s. Szabó is best known in translation for her 1987 novel The Door, which has now been followed with this, originally published in 1963 under the title Pilátus, which for the life of me I can't parse. Is it something to do with Pontius Pilate: washing your hands of guilt? Corrupt authority?

Courageous: Author Ruth Rendell

Fire Songs by David Harsent, book review: Author finds an early late flowering

Truly significant poets continue to challenge their readers from book to book. Some – like W B Yeats, Czeslaw Milosz and even R S Thomas – go on to have "late great" flowerings. David Harsent may not be at the "late" stage yet, but with every book his stature as a truly significant writer becomes more undeniable.

Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy by Jonathan A C Brown, book review

A study of interpretations over the ages illuminates modern ethical dilemmas

Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall by Elizabeth Drew, book review

Gripping account of Watergate scandal calls into doubt Frost's role

Siberia: A History of the People by Janet M Hartley, book review: A guided tour of the frozen wastes

A grim waste of ice and snow dotted with unspeakable penal colonies. That's all we know about Siberia. The first surprise in Janet M Hartley's fact-packed survey of 400 years of Russia's Wild East is that Siberia is a rich country.

In Love and War by Alex Preston, book review: Evocative portrait of passion and fascism

There is much to admire in Alex Preston's third novel, In Love and War, the Florence-set tale of one young man's journey from lacklustre British Blackshirt to fervent Italian Resistance fighter.

Papers in the Wind by Eduardo Sacheri, translated by Mara Faye Lethem - book review: Story of friendship and football gets lost in translation

Papers in the Wind is the story of a friendship between four middle-aged Argentinian men: one of them (Mono) dies and the others inherit ownership of a hopeless footballer; they have to find a way of selling the player to pay for Mono's daughter's school fees.

John the Pupil by David Flusfeder - book review: A beautifully measured portrait of a pilgrim's progress

The cover blurb for his seventh novel compares David Flusfeder with Umberto Eco and Quentin Tarantino – which is both wholly understandable and irksomely spurious. While there is a similar intellectual chicanery and a ludic approach to form, the brevity and compression of John the Pupil, its spaces, make this a lazy comparison. Lazy because this is a novel far more original and ambitious than such a description would suggest.

Paperback reviews: Mood Indigo, The Tottenham Outrage, The Ghosts Of Happy Valley, The Liar’s Daughter, Queen Victoria: A Life Of Contradictions

Mood Indigo By Boris Vian (Translated by Stanley Chapman) (Serpent’s Tail £8.99)

Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
The Independent
 
The Independent on Google+
i100
i100 on Google+
i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    Career Services

    Day In a Page

    Independent Travel
    Panama
    Languedoc Roussillon
    Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
    Bruges
    The Jura Mountains
    Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
    Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week