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.

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Veiled threat: a topless activist from Femen under attack in front of the Great Mosque of Paris last year

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates, Femen By Femen with Galia Ackerman; trans Andrew Brown, book reviews

A generation of angry young women are mobilising street protests and online activism: but are they feminists?

Another 'well-known' author publishes an anonymous novel - but who could it be this time around?

It’s been quite a year for pseudonymous writers whose real identities are open secrets. John Banville brought out his latest Philip Marlowe mystery novel under the pen-name, Benjamin Black, last month. Dan Kavanagh’s detective novels are to be re-published and nowhere is Julian Barnes mentioned, such is the extent of the in-joke. J K Rowling will bring out her second Robert Galbraith book this June.

Samuel Beckett's story teaches young writers to go their own way! Week in Books by Arifa Akbar

So Samuel Beckett’s unpublished short story will finally see the light of day, 80 years after Charles Prentice, his editor at Chatto & Windus, asked him to write “Echo’s Bones”, in order to bulk out his 1934 debut collection. Prentice also asked Beckett to change the title from Draff to More Pricks Than Kicks in a bid to make it more appealing to readers. Then he rejected “Echo’s Bones” as a “nightmare” that would turn readers off and “depress the sales”.

Emma Donoghue: 'Fiction informed by grittiness of fact'

Arifa Akbar: Books column

A personal first this week. I found myself in partial agreement with Martin Amis. While his views on class (versus money) may have sparked the usual hullabaloo of opinion and counter-opinion, it was his aside on the sexual fantasy of “ravishment” in literature that I found myself pondering, and not roundly dismissing, to my surprise. In a Radio Times interview, he said that, in the time of Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, “the only way a heroine can have sex is by being drugged and that ties in with fantasies, female fantasies of being ravished.”

The Bargain from the Bazaar by Haroon K Ullah, book review

An extraordinary story of a Pakistani family's brush with injustice that loses something in its telling

The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt, book review: Portrait of over-shadowed female artist

Siri Hustvedt's latest novel is, at first, striking for one thing: many of its elements would once have been found in the early – and best - works of her novelist husband, Paul Auster.

A film adaptation of Wuthering Heights, starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon

Arifa Akbar: Jane Austen vs Emily Bronte - who wins this costume drama?

The Week in Books column

Film adaptation of 'The Book Thief'
Latest stories from i100
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Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all