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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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
Imagine...

Imagine... it’s 2014 and the drums of war are beating again

We don't know what World War Three might look like, but here's my calculated guess...

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital