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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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.

Cultural blend: ‘Million’s Poet’

The supersized cultural life of Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi's talent shows and art exhibitions may be inspired by the West, but the cash-rich capital's culture has a distinctly eastern flavour. Boyd Tonkin reports
Visionary? Thomas Piketty’s thesis, that the West is in the midst of a new Gilded Age of inequality, has divided the US

Critics of capitalism only serve to reinforce it

Since around 1980, the  English-speaking liberal-left has become accustomed to winning intellectual battles at the same time as it loses the political wars

Flight of fancy: the semi-fictionalised film ‘The Wind Rises’ has a visionary intensity

Filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki captures dying machines from war in new film

In telling the story of the man behind Japan's finest fighter planes, anime master Miyazaki's swansong captures the paradoxical artistry that creates the tools of war

Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'

Star Wars is the closest thing we have to Homer

Vast dynastic conflicts and reflections on good and evil, has George Lucas been studying the Iliad?

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Day In a Page

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
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories