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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Ed Miliband, talks image politics with Andrew Marr

Head of State by Andrew Marr, book review

Marr's foray into political fiction is sharp, lively and full of insider knowledge

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy's 186th birthday: Here's War and Peace in 186 words

Because although we should read it from cover to cover, realistically…

David Mitchell interview: 'It's high stakes. Do it wrong and you've got a broken book'

A hot tip to win the Booker Prize, his new book The Bone Clocks is a tour de force of genre-skipping

Ashya King was reunited with his parents Brett and Naghmeh yesterday

Ashya King showed we still don’t know the limits of liberty

Almost every week, the Family Division hears cases of a mind-scrambling sensitivity

The power of anonymity lies in the freedom it grants

Reclusive artists such as Banksy and Haruki Murakami teach us the special value of being left alone

Terrible revenge: Soprano Nina Stemme in Strauss's Salome in Spain in 2010

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects. Boyd Tonkin examines her lasting allure
Ian McEwan would send 'The Grass Arena' by John Healy

Ian McEwan, The Children Act, book review: A thrillingly grown up read

British culture has lately taken not so much a child-like but a puerile turn in its reflex demonisation of all figures of authority. High-profile cases of corruption and malpractice have not only aroused righteous anger. They have licensed a petulant, even infantile, refusal to engage with the exercise of power for good as well as ill.

One calculation suggests that Isis has recruited more British Muslims than the 600 or so who serve in the British Armed Forces

Jihadi John and his fellow Isis fighters from the UK are flippant, fanatical... and distinctly British

Street-smart attitudes and sarky takedowns have somehow fused with the grimmest tenets of sectarian doctrine

Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett - it's a journey worth making to the Happy Days Festival, Week in Books column

Site-specific art can sometimes be a waste of time and breath: a journey to nowhere. One of the revelations at this year's Happy Days festival, devoted to Samuel Beckett and held in and around Enniskillen in County Fermanagh (where he went to boarding school from 1920 to 1923), was the inspired choice of locations.

Ghost writer: Robert Aickman pictured in 1960

Robert Aickman's cult horror books are being resurrected for the centenary of his birth

Aickman wandered through the 1960s fantasy publishing scene like an elegant, if quarrelsome, revenant. Boyd Tonkin on an author whose life was as unconventional as his characters
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?