Boyd Tonkin

Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.

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Missing Buildings: Thom and Beth Atkinson's photographs capture the scars left on the London cityscape by the Blitz

The brother and sister's haunted portfolio documents the spectral evidence of lost and broken lives 75 years after the Blitz began

Turning a blind eye to moments of death is a strange, modern taboo

Whatever your beliefs, we must recognise the dead left their empty shell and now dwell elsewhere

Oresteia: The current Greek crisis proves that the tragedy is as politically charged as ever

With three major productions of Oresteia hitting the stage, Boyd Tonkin considers how the Greek tragedy can illuminate today's austerity and uncertainty
A tablet of a tablet of flibanserin sits on a brochure for Sprout Pharmaceuticals sits on a brochure for Sprout Pharmaceuticals

Is the new female Viagra just another attempt to banish our woes with the quick fix of pills?

The anti-pharmaceutical puritans can sound not merely utopian, but heartless too

BBC's adaption of Lady Chatterley's Lover says more about Britain than about DH Lawrence

Forget smut that was for decades deemed unsuitable for the servants – a new BBC adaptation sees DH Lawrence’s original message of lives blighted by war writ large. But the sex has its own story to tell, too

True education is for life, not just A-level results day

For many years, A-level results day has been a piece masquerading as a story

Our recollection of the 1970s is pure Thatcherite propaganda

The capture of the British 1970s by the Toriy narrative was a coup that still pays a lavish dividend to Maggie's heirs

The 25 best beasts in literature

Tomorrow, a major show about animals in literature opens at the British Library. Here, Boyd Tonkin selects his pet subjects: the most vividly imagined beasts to have lingered in readers' minds through centuries – and even millennia
Mane attraction: Sally Sketch’s 1821 ‘An Alphabetical Arrangement of Animals for Little Naturalists’ is one of the titles in the ‘Animal Tales’ show

British Library's new show Animal Tales celebrates the best beasts in literature

On Friday, a major show about animals in literature opens at the British Library. Here, Boyd Tonkin selects his pet subjects: the most vividly imagined beasts to have lingered in readers' minds through centuries – and even millennia
Parlour games: 'Musical Conversation' by Marcellus Laroon the Younger (1679–1772)

The Huguenot Exhibition: 'Heretics' who made Britain their home

An exhibition of artworks by Huguenot refugees sheds light on the history of cross-Channel migration, writes Boyd Tonkin

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