Arifa Akbar

Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014.

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web
Reflected glory: author Haruki Murakami

Hear The Wing Sing & Pinball 1973 by Haruki Murakami; trans. Ted Goossen; appetisers from the kitchen table

Until now, we have not been able to read Haruki Murakami’s first two novels in English despite their popular success in Japanese. It is his third novel, A Wild Sheep Chase, translated in 1990, and the last in his “Rat” trilogy, that English readers have taken as his first, and that he himself considers “the true beginning of my career as a novelist.” In fact, he has resisted English translations of Hear the Wind Sing (1979) and Pinball 1973 (1980) for decades, except for a ‘student study aid’ translation in Japan that has long been out of print, and in the face of fans frequently writing to his UK publisher with their pleas.

Yoga on the shala

Yoga retreat in Greece: Silence is golden on Silver Island

Once a jet-set private playground, Argironisos now welcomes a rather different clientele. Arifa Akbar limbers up among its devotees

Kayak sunrise

Silence is golden on Silver Island

Once a jet-set private playground, Argironisos now welcomes a rather different clientele

An American family reading a newspaper circa 1950
The manuscript of Harper Lee’s novel was found by her lawyer in 2014

Go Set A Watchman - book review: A rough draft, but more radical and politicised than Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

We will never be able to read Mockingbird in the same way again, and never see Atticus in the same light. It is the end of innocence for that novel

Michel Faber, London

Poetry of a grieving husband after death did them part: Week in Books column

A little blue book was left on my desk a few weeks ago. More a pamphlet than a book, with a paper cover bound by string. It looked like a catalogue or a theatre programme. I pushed it to one side of the desk, just above the bin, and it sat there until it was time for a clear-out, when I picked it up again and saw it was in fact a chapbook by Michel Faber called Poems for Eva, with a pink post-it note on top saying ‘These turned out well. F x’.

A terminally ill woman looks at a self portrait of Rembrandt at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum

Happiness is.... what? Just the opposite of misery, or more? Week in Books column

Earlier this year, a terminally ill cancer patient requested a last visit to the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum to see a Rembrandt exhibition. A striking image accompanied the news story, of the patient on a gurney, surrounded by staff, face turned towards one of Rembrandt’s final self-portraits, the colour and shade in the photograph reflecting something of the light falling across Rembrandt’s aged face in the painting, and the edges of darkness converging behind him.

In the US Grey has reportedly sold 1.1m copies to date across paperback, ebook and audiobook

It's not all 'Grey': EL James's 50 Shades' spin-off is causing consternation

An online campaign that has taken social media by storm

Still relevant: Gregory Peck (left) and Brock Peters (right) in a scene from the 1962 film adaptation of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

Scout and Atticus Finch can't be consigned to history: Week in Books

Last week, I found myself on a privately owned Greek island with no shops, wi-fi, radio or television. Sprawled day after day on a swinging bed under a giant oak tree, I discovered that the book you take to such a remote place (a permanent population of three people, limited electricity, 2,500 olive trees, a yoga shala, some loud owls and a resident dog) is your connection to the less scenic world you’ve left behind.

Shining: Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in ‘Sex and the City’, in 1999

Killing Monica: Sex and the City creator Candace Bushnell's dark new novel has a familiar feel

There is no mention of Carrie in the book, but the plot rings bells

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'