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.

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“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...

Unfinished business: there's more to a good book than its ending

Week in Books column: Arifa Akbar

Antipodean triumph: Soldiers liberated from a Japanese prison camp

Books of the year 2014: The best fiction

Man Booker prize winner Richard Flanagan led the vanguard in a triumphant year for Antipodean fiction

A Theft: My Con Man by Hanif Kureishi, book review: Morality tale suffers for not being fiction

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.

Cults and loners: Murakami never stops warning his fans against the sham of charisma and the peril of conformity
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Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions