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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Down and out, Wayne Rooney slumps to the ground after England's 2-1 defeat to Uruguay

The winner may take all, but sportsmanship and the plucky loser are still to be celebrated

The art of losing is chronically overlooked, but there is much to learn from it

Hacking trial: The Establishment is dead. Long live the Establishment

Perhaps we should broaden our view of institutional power and those who wield it

The outlook's Rosie: Laurie Lee in Slad, a landscape 'farmed and fenced by literature'

Laurie Lee: As I walked out one Midsummer morning

A century ago tomorrow saw the birth of Laurie Lee, whose most famous work, Cider with Rosie, immortalised the countryside of his youth. Boyd Tonkin strolls through the Slad Valley to see what remains of its celebrated past
Slanted contribution to the debate: Gordon Brown, at the Scottish Labour launch to keep Scotland as part of the UK, May 2013

The art of political storytelling isn't lost on the Scots

The Yes camp has had the stronger story to recount: richer in history, deeper in feeling, grounded in a politics of progress rather than dread

The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters by Adam Nicolson; The Last Days of Troy by Simon Armitage, book reviews

A journey by land and sea extols the perennial power of the greatest epic poems
Past life: Tristram Hunt, the shadow Education Secretary, and author of ‘Ten Cities that Made an Empire’

Write honourable members: The 2010 class of MPs

The 2010 House of Commons intake includes a surprising number of practising historians. Are they in danger of giving politicians a good name, asks Boyd Tonkin

Javier Cercas interview: Picking over the wounds of Spain’s recent past

Boyd Tonkin meets him as King Juan Carlos gave the tale a new twist

British Prime Minister Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and Mayor of London Boris Johnson wait for a train at Newark station in central England, following a visit to the town were they campaigned ahead of the Newark by-election

Court and country do battle in Newark

Just as much as the walls of Newark Castle, the Polish war graves belong at the heart of English, and British, heritage

Computer generated image showing brain activity

The Longitude Prize gives us a new hero

The Longitude Prize is a great way to find a new John Harrison. But why stop at that?

Iraq's 'Irvine Welsh' wins the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Iraqi Christ

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has its first Arabic winner. And what a winner: Hassan Blasim’s The Iraqi Christ, translated by Jonathan Wright, is a collection of 14 short stories set largely in the blood-stained and hope-drained aftermath of the 2003 invasion and occupation.

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Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'