Arifa Akbar is deputy literary editor and arts writer at The Independent. She has been at the paper since 2001, and has previously worked as a news reporter and arts correspondent.
18 January 2013 07:00 PM
This thrilling campus drama begins with the death of Eden Bellwether, a magnetic music scholar and the leader of a Cambridge University clique of undergraduates.
15 January 2013 12:00 AM
Obesity is the zeitgeist on TV these days, it seems, with stories of embarrassing bodies becoming ever more telegenic. Teenage obesity was a variation on the theme that fuelled My Mad Fat Diary, a new sixth-form drama of dysfunctionality. "Dear diary," announced the anti-heroine, Rae. "I'm 16, I weigh 16 stones and I live in Lincolnshire. My interests include music, vegging out and finding a fit boy – scratch that – any boy, to quench my ever-growing horn."
14 January 2013 06:03 PM
Should there be a place for sadness, anger and feelings of failure?
12 January 2013 12:00 AM
This history of dieting proves that the ancient Greek concept of "diatetica" - eating for health and wellbeing - has not yet been perfected by two centuries of rabid dieters.
05 January 2013 12:00 AM
The dark side of competitive yoga and its acceptance of pain is explored in this book.
29 December 2012 12:00 AM
This book begins tamely – Lev and Sveta, two Russian teenagers quietly falling in love. It progresses into one of the most dramatic true histories of the gulag era.
24 December 2012 12:00 AM
Loving Miss Hatto, Sun, BBC1 // Mr Stink, Sun, BBC1
Last night's viewing - Imagine: A Beauty Is Born – Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty, BBC1; Wartime Farm Christmas, BBC2
19 December 2012 12:00 AM
There are few choreographers who have dared to do what Matthew Bourne has done. Who could have envisaged an all-male corps de ballet in Swan Lake at a time when it caused no small measure of outrage?
17 December 2012 10:49 AM
Paul O’Grady’s alter-ego Lily Savage as Widow Twankey was exuberant
15 December 2012 12:00 AM
Stourton began seeing life from a dog's eye view when he lost his job as a flagship radio presenter.
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- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
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- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
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