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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Anyone who bothers about the stones of Palmyra will also care about the souls of Tadmur

The distinction between a concern for the fate of people and of antiquities is a false dichotomy

Xavier Picard's film is faithful to the original cartoons in look and deadpan humour

Moomins on the Riviera: How Tove Jansson's creations beguiled the planet

The Moomins hit the big screen this week, and their journey from comic strips to cinemas is the opposite of a Disney-fied fairytale, as Boyd Tonkin discovers

Spot the masterpiece amid a $1bn orgy of patronage and hype

A handful of ‘ultra high net worth’ individuals fund the art market, which dwarfs in its riches the wildest fantasies of a Borgia pope

Returning to the scene of his youth: the Republic of Congo

The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou, trans. Helen Stevenson, book review

Alain Mabanckou's joyous, vivid narrative style brings to life a frank, tender memoir
(L-R) outgoing opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, British Prime Minister David Cameron and outgoing Liberal Democratic Party leader Nick Clegg attend a VE Day service of remembrance at the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe

How Ancient Athenian democracy killed progressive England

When the three party leaders drained the hemlock within minutes, an ancient brutality seemed to return to UK politics

Unspeakable: interpreters disagree on whether protagonist Gregor Samsa transformed into a cockroach or another type of vermin

In The Shadow Of Kafka: David Baddiel explores The Metamorphosis for new BBC radio series

Boyd Tonkin looks at the genesis of Kafka's dark tale, and why its themes still creep and crawl around our culture

The UK was formed in nationalist fires, and today is no different

In future histories of this election, the two-faced front pages of The Sun will occupy a special place

Dunluce Castle - or House of Greyjoy, as Game of Thrones fans will know it

Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

A bloody series of internecine feuds, filmed in a land with a bloody history of internecine feuds. Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland, asks Boyd Tonkin?

War, famine, and drought – the unholy trinity changing our world

In sites of upheaval, the roots of conflict may knit together beyond all disentanglement, yet some things are always clear

There’s no future without a numbing dose of nostalgia

Welcome to Camberwick Green, but with an upgraded cottage hospital, a swanky rebuilt station and super-fast broadban

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Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test