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, and is currently judging the Aesthetica Magazine new writing prize.
22 December 2014 12:00 PM
From the best debut fiction to literary and celebrity memoirs, our reviewers select their pick of this year's crop...
Short stories revived: They are back in fashion, as established, and fledging, writers return to the form
18 December 2014 12:43 PM
Aesthetica magazine writing competition
18 December 2014 12:13 PM
Week in Books column: Arifa Akbar
04 December 2014 07:00 PM
Man Booker prize winner Richard Flanagan led the vanguard in a triumphant year for Antipodean fiction
27 November 2014 05:00 PM
Hanif Kureishi was cheated out of £120,000 of life savings in 2012 by a partner at an accountancy firm. The alleged investment fraud was announced in news reports last year to add to those stories of famous folk – the John Malkoviches and other Ponzi Scheme victims – duped out of what they have.
27 November 2014 12:58 PM
The Week in Books
It's not just men who can do firm fictive friendships - but women might do them differently: week in books column
20 November 2014 11:35 AM
Friendship was essential to Aristotle’s well-lived life, much more so than the flibbertigibbet passions of romantic love, while Oscar Wilde’s model of a friend was a trustworthy contrarian, bold enough to “stab you in the front”.
13 November 2014 05:10 PM
Libraries shouldn’t have to become multi-platform, nor should they have to jump through hoops to show us their worth
06 November 2014 06:10 PM
Farzana began life as an impoverished, powerless girl in Mughal-era India, where social hierarchies were prescribed and inescapable. Penniless and orphaned by teen age, she earned her keep by servicing the priapic needs of the East India Company in the dance halls of Delhi. So how, by the end of her life, had she become not only the leader of a formidable army but a revered adventurer who sat on an immense personal fortune in one the most illustrious estates of 18th-century India?
05 November 2014 07:37 PM
It’s been a good week for memoirs (though maybe not for Lena Dunham’s). And for women falconers, though Helen Macdonald is not the first woman to have broached the subject of her Samuel Johnson Prize-winning memoir, H is for Hawk.
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 3 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 4 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
- 5 Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014