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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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

The Bamboo Stalk by Saud Alsanousi, trans. Jonathan Wright, book review

The young Kuwaiti author gives the silent army of servants a voice at last

Nobel laureate Günter Grass whose death at the age of 87 was confirmed on Monday

Gunter Grass dies: A literary giant who shone a fearless light into Germany's dark past

He left an inspirational stamp on two generations of novelists, from John Irving in the US to Orhan Pamuk in Turkey

Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Heroic and tragic truth behind Poldark: Cornishmen shaped mining in Britain and pushed boundaries the world over

If you look beyond the bodice-ripping and family feuds, the BBC's 'Poldark' delves into a fascinating period of Cornwall's mining past. Boyd Tonkin looks at the real quarrying dynasties in a region that was once at the cutting edge of capitalism
A police forensics officer entering the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company in London

Hatton Garden jewellery burglary: Gems still glitter in a digital world – and not just for thieves

The Hatton Garden theft seems like a crime of nostalgia. The sheer materiality of the deed and the loot belong to a disappearing world

Japanese writer Haruki Murakami

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015: It’s a global book prize, not just European

Whichever continent may triumph on 27 May, I warmly recommend them all

Anarchy in the UK? It could be the best government we’ve had

Whatever the interval between the election and the formation of a government, it could be an opportunity to embrace anarchy – and like it

Never underestimate the power of the National Trust

The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health, and could help influence the election

Breve encounter: Philip Glass at work

Words Without Music by Philip Glass, book review: Songs in the key of modern life

The one-time taxi driver's journey to becoming the genius who composed the soundtrack to our times is well worth the fare, says Boyd Tonkin
Written in stone: a marble relief showing the procession of the Panathenaic festival birthday of the goddess Athena (438-432BC)

How the Greeks invented the modern idea of us as human beings

On TV, in museums, on the stage – Hellenic culture is all the rage because it still speaks to us, says Boyd Tonkin. And far from being exclusive or historical, it lies at the heart of modern Western values, showing to us 'our best selves'

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...