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, and is currently judging the Aesthetica Magazine new writing prize.

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web

Granta 130: India edited by Ian Jack, book review: Is India due a golden age of reportage?

In 1997, when Granta published its anthology India! The Golden Jubilee, the world was at a very different place. The Satanic Verses had "happened" just under a decade ago; Arundhati Roy won the Booker prize a few months after her contribution to Granta; the work of VS Naipaul, Vikram Seth and Anita Desai had helped to formulate a new genre of subcontinental writing in the English language that had proved to be so critically successful in the West. And there they all were, contributing to Granta.

Girlie bonding: Daisy Goodwin likened her internship as chair of the Orange Prize jury to 'Sex and the City but with books instead of shoes'

Manuscripts lost and found - a fire isn't always the end of it; Week in Books

Poor Daisy Goodwin, who might or might not have lost her half-written novel in a house fire this week. But at least she’s in good company, despite her appalling loss. She figures in the pantheon of writers whose creative juices have flowed for nought.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang; trans. Deborah Smith, book review: Strong meat from a dream of a tale

A stifled woman's inner life is the subject of a surreal, spellbinding South Korean novel
Commuters wait for their train
“How is an “ordinary” Muslim supposed to make his or her specific apology?”

Paris attacks: No, Mr Murdoch. I am not responsible

Christians were not expected to say sorry for the Oklahoma City bombing, yet Muslims are being asked to apologise
Emmeline Pankhurst

The year of the suffragette: women on the verge of a societal breakdown. Week in Books

Suffragettes are currently having a moment. Another moment, in fact. There is Up the Women on BBC2 and Sophia on page 21 for anyone interested in revisionist social history, but one woman in particular will command all our attentions because this is the year that Meryl Streep resuscitates Emmeline Pankhurst on celluloid. If Streep pulled off the dazzling feat of theatrical illusion that made us look back on Thatcherism with dewy-eyed fondness, then I expect the modern-day beatification of Ms Pankhurst Senior to be imminent.

Cirque du Soleil: Kooza at the Royal Albert Hall, London
Jon Ronson's 'So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed' is due for publication in March

Book highlights of 2015: Jon Ronson's latest work and Kazuo Ishiguro first novel in a decade

Your guide to the books that you won't be able to put down this year

Best books of 2014: These Christmas reads are so good you won't want to give them away

From the best debut fiction to literary and celebrity memoirs, our reviewers select their pick of this year's crop...

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

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project