Boyd Tonkin

Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.

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Books of the year 2013: Fiction in translation

How should authors transform autobiography into self-standing fiction? For Karl Ove Knausgaard, with A Man in Love (translated by Don Bartlett; Vintage, £8.99), this second volume in the Norwegian writer's acclaimed "My Struggle" series mines the everyday material of young fatherhood. Yet he converts it into a stunningly eloquent set of reflections on masculinity, domesticity and the artist's itch to escape.

Like it or not, the Scots and the English are flesh and blood

Inspect the details of this diluted nationalism and one thing becomes clear. It embraces, even celebrates, a cross-border world

Blinding: the Left Wing, By Mircea Cartarescu: Book review - memory and satire meld magically in this Bucharest tale

The media hysterics who depict Romania solely as the home of demon migrant hordes will not care that a novelist from that country became a hot tip for the Nobel Prize in Literature this year.

Family values: 'It's a Wonderful Life'

It's a Wonderful Life - the sequel: Dream town or dystopian vision?

It's a Wonderful Life is a classic 1940s feelgood movie; what might its sequel tell us about the modern world?

Paperback review: Time's Anvil, By Richard Morris

“One thing we bring to time,” writes archaeologist Richard Morris in this multi-levelled book about digging up the English past, “is a compulsion to split it up”.

1978: All six members of the Monty Python team on location in Tunisia to film 'Monty Python's Life of Brian'

Resistance is futile. ‘Monty Python’ is part of a 60s cultural hegemony that grips us to this day

It's more than just blazing talent that has secured the Pythons’ longevity

Feathered friends: the 1964 film ‘Emil and the Detectives’

Why Emil and the Detectives author Erich Kästner wouldn't bow to the Nazis

Boyd Tonkin looks back at the writer's life as Kästner's evergreen tale previews at the National this week

Doris Lessing continued to write until 2008, leaving behind almost 30 novels

Boyd Tonkin on Doris Lessing: A woman perpetually in flight comes to rest at last

Nobel literature laureate Doris Lessing died at 94 years of age in London after a journey in print that took her from colonial Rhodesia to alternate worlds

Book review: Prince, By Matt Thorne

Clad in (what else?) a purple jacket, Thorne's updated epic of scholarly fandom boasts just the kind of passionate excess that has marked the 35-year top-flight musical career of Prince Rogers Nelson.

11 November 2013: Palestinian youth hold portraits of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat during a march in the West Bank town of Hebron to mark the ninth anniversary of Arafat's death

Assassins can change history – but not in the way they expect

With the age of genocidal despots, the moral ambiguities thicken. Would you have killed Hitler prior to, or even during, the Second World War?

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Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam