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.
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.
30 October 2014 11:53 AM
Will you be bidding at the latest “immortality” auction? The one in which the highest bidder will have bought their way into Margaret Atwood’s retelling of The Tempest perhaps, or Tracy Chevalier’s next novel in which she has an open spot for a landlady. Or the works of Hanif Kureishi, Sebastian Faulks, Pat Barker, Alan Hollinghurst, Zadie Smith, Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan, and more. Not for the first time – though this one surely has the highest “star” voltage – novelists will auction character names to appear in their fictions.
23 October 2014 11:58 AM
This slim yet powerful inquiry into the life of a French 15-year-old, who “runs away” from her convent school in 1941, was first published in France in 1997.
23 October 2014 11:44 AM
Reading yet another article about bucket lists, I was delighted to find that Judi Dench didn’t have one. What she did have, though, was a daily habit of learning a poem or new word by heart to keep her mind active.
16 October 2014 12:13 PM
No bodies were returned to Britain after the end of the First World War. That some corner of a foreign field became forever England was down to the sad fact that there were too many fallen to bring back, and too many who couldn’t have been claimed because they couldn’t be identified. So on 7 November 1920, an unidentified body dug up from France was buried under marble at Westminster Abbey. This man would become the “unknown soldier”. In the first week of his arrival, 1.3 million came to pay their respects. It was an extraordinary turnout, and it signalled how much emotional symbolism lay within his anonymity.
16 October 2014 11:30 AM
The first Man Booker to allow American nominees was won by an Australian
Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan: 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North was a novel I never wanted to write'
16 October 2014 12:00 AM
13 October 2014 02:44 PM
Stretch and relax with a yoga guru in Fethiye
10 October 2014 11:17 AM
In 2007, the Chinese novelist Chen Xiwo wrote a story collection based on the deadly sins, with each of the seven dramatised explicitly and without concession to state censors. Perhaps unsurprisingly, The Book of Sins was banned by the Chinese government. One story was seen as particularly degenerate: “I Love My Mum”, in which a disabled teenager is arrested for murdering his mother and admits to having had sex before – and after – whipping her to death.
02 October 2014 03:42 PM
Tonight at around sunset, a book burning will kick-start the London Literature Festival’s meditation on a dystopic, post-literate future where reading is an act of rebellion. Or at least, an imaginary book burning with a conceptual pyre in the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, around which a dramatised reading of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 will take place. The audience are invited to bring their favourite books to this Brave New Bookless World, where even Fifty Shades of Grey is samizdat.
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims