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.

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web
Charles Dickens

Not since the days of Dickens has middle-class prosperity so relied on family bequests

Osborne's reforms to Inheritance Tax have lawyers rubbing their hands with glee

In his role as Hamlet, Benedict Cumberbatch will have to learn, and repeat night after night, around 1,480 lines

Benedict Cumberbatch has 1,480 lines in Hamlet - so what's the secret to actors' memory skills?

Benedict Cumberbatch has to remember 1,480 lines to give his new 'Hamlet'. An orchestra is performing a whole symphony by heart for the Proms. How do they do it, and why is it so good for their brains –and ours? Boyd Tonkin elucidates

The Occupation Trilogy by Patrick Modiano; trans. Frank Wynne, Patricia Wolf & Caroline Hillier, book review

A trio of sinister novels examine shameful secrets from France's Nazi occupation
Shirley Jackson

How Shirley Jackson became the 'sorceress at the sink'

Jackson's tales brood on the primeval forces that roil and bubble beneath most sedate lives

The Confines of the Shadow

The Confines of the Shadow by Alessandro Spina - book review: Experimental tales from Libya to Lombardy

Translated by André Naffis-Sahely, these stories experiment with alternatives to realism

The Ashley Madison set need a literary lesson in how to swing

The hacking debacle belongs not to the post-Bloomsbury age of absolute erotic candour but to the Victorian era of guilty, covert thrills

New perspectives: 'Las Meninas', or 'The Family of Philip IV', (c. 1656) by Velazquez

Everything is Happening: Journey into a Painting by Michael Jacobs, with an introduction and coda by Ed Vulliamy, book review

The travel writer Michael Jacobs' last book is a fitting, fascinating cornucopia
The University of Birmingham says parts of a Koran manuscript in its library are from one of the oldest copies of the Islamic text in the world

World's oldest Koran discovered in Birmingham: This will rejoice Muslim hearts

All we need now is a Dead Sea Scrolls-era Book of Job to surface in Newcastle or Nottingham

Angels Hewitt: 'In its austerity, the music has such beauty of expression'

Johann Sebastian Bach: Leading soloists on the mastery and mystery of the genius composer

There's a composer whose genius is so unfathomable that he pushes musicians to the very brink. Leading soloists talk to Boyd Tonkin about capturing the spirit – and solving the puzzle – of Johann Sebastian Bach

‘Rewilding’ would create a theme park, not a return to nature

The quest to fill remoter corners of the landscape with sexy beasts is more Hirst than Attenborough

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future