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.
14 November 2014 05:32 PM
Annually, the agency’s operations cost “about the same as the price of a cinema ticket” for each citizen of the 20 participating nations
07 November 2014 04:53 PM
We identify with all the innocents who died – and them alone
06 November 2014 06:02 PM
A mere quarter-century ago, the Berlin Wall opened. Soon after, the Soviet empire fell. Yet much of that cataclysmic history has already faded into kitsch and platitude. Happily, literature can resurrect a reality beyond the scope of official commemorations. Three novels from authors who grew up in the lost world of East Germany - all brought to us in outstanding translations - anchor that obliterated landscape to intimate memories, beliefs and emotions. Fiction can dig the tunnel that takes us under the Wall and back through time.
31 October 2014 05:28 PM
But who now cares if you walk the walk, so long as you talk the talk?
27 October 2014 10:49 PM
Twenty-five years ago next month, the man-made geographical feature that had defined post-war Europe vanished with dizzying abruptness. Introducing a week-long celebration of a still barely credible political earthquake, Boyd Tonkin reports from Berlin
24 October 2014 05:46 PM
The human face is a mystery we try to unravel at our peril
21 October 2014 11:00 PM
The Easter Rising of 1916 began in Dublin’s General Post Office. No wonder, perhaps, given that so many of the insurgents had pursued civil-service careers in what Roy Foster calls “the imperial structure of the Royal Mail”. Even Richard Mulcahy – later IRA Chief of Staff and Defence Minister of the Irish Free State – had worked as a postal clerk. Where better than the GPO to sign, seal and deliver Ireland’s liberation?
10 October 2014 06:50 PM
The sudden reversal of policy, which now favours interrogation of West African arrivals, owes more to Dracula-at-Whitby fears than to solid proof
09 October 2014 06:23 PM
When his editor Antoine Gallimard called to tell him the news, he replied 'how bizarre', according to Le Monde newspaper
Stephen Fry is wrong about being the only person harmed by his cocaine habit — just look at Colombia
03 October 2014 05:37 PM
Cocaine-driven conflict in the country has cost 220,000 lives and displaced about 4.5m people from their homes
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
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- 2 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 3 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 4 Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims