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.
28 December 2013 12:00 AM
"The Hired Man" by Aminatta Forna (Bloomsbury)
21 December 2013 12:00 AM
"A light appeared deep inside the audience, beaming like a gig-lamp in the hands of a woman below me. It was a Blackberry"
14 December 2013 04:43 PM
The form has changed but the impulses remain the same. The quickening of the heart can lie in an inbox too
The Sky Wept Fire: My Life as a Chechen Freedom Fighter by Mikail Eldin, trans by Anna Gunin - book review
12 December 2013 12:00 AM
Rebel with a cause powerfully portrays the horrors of war
06 December 2013 07:00 PM
There are times when the film-of-the-book leads us back to the original text, either to re-live the story or to compare the merits of one medium to the other. Then there are times when a film adaptation is so profoundly dissatisfying that it demands recourse to the book.
06 December 2013 07:00 PM
Post Chocolat, Harris became known as the novelist who deftly wove food into fiction, but many in this generic medley of short stories are food free.
29 November 2013 07:00 PM
Rejoice! it was the year that a Pakistani teenager who stood up to the Taliban became a celebrity, and one with a real story to tell. What a breath of fresh air in a genre crowded out by middle-aged TV personalities. Malala Yousafzai invigorated the "all about me" genre with I Am Malala (Orion, £18.99, with Christina Lamb), a tale of immense courage and conviction which begins as she is shot for campaigning for the rights of girls to an education ("My friends later told me the gunman's hand was shaking as he fired"). The memoir rewinds to early life in the Swat valley; people commiserated the birth of a girl when Malala was born. Being Pushtun and female got tougher when the Taliban arrived. She was 10 by that time and busy reading the Twilight novels.
23 November 2013 04:43 PM
Alvi, a former TS Eliot and Whitbread poetry prizes shortlistee, takes a historical journey as the structure for this narrative poem.
23 November 2013 04:03 PM
A powerful and poetic volume of ‘fictional reportage’ on the infamous Camorra
The Week in Books: Femen exposed, the £30,000 'one-star' Jeff Bezos book and a digital map for bookstores
23 November 2013 02:36 PM
Would any one feminist text make the same waves today as Germaine Greer's or Betty Friedan's?
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen