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.

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Vncent Van Gogh. Ever Yours: The Essential Letters, edited by Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker, book review

Boyd Tonkin discovers that the remarkable artist was also an avid reader and an accomplished writer
Watkins as Christopher Jefferies in Peter Morgan's ITV drama

The fate of Christopher Jefferies shows that it can still be dangerous to be different

In an age of stifling consensus, is there a place for eccentricity?

Circa 1940: Stefan Zweig (1881 - 1942) the writer, poet and translator of Ben Johnson. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World by George Prochnik, book review: Mitteleuropa’s tragic symbol

Stefan Zweig died in despair, but his  legacy helped heal a wounded world

George Osborne's Bond issue brings out the secret agent in us all

James Bond is fantasy. Osborne’s 10-year “consolidation” may prove an equal fiction.

Books of the year 2014: Fiction in translation

It has been a strong year for fresh versions of the classics

Buy from Amazon and Apple and it’s you that ends up owned

The physical ownership of forbidden books has marched hand in hand with enlightenment. That tradition is now being torn to shreds

Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently

Is criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Pumeza Matshikiza

Pumeza Matshikiza on soprano megastardom, her township education and why the ANC is a stuck record

She is the leading light of a generation of opera stars to have burst out of the townships post-Apartheid. But the superstar soprano Pumeza Matshikiza has little faith that the ANC is making it any easier for ambitious young South Africans to call their own tune

Football needs its Martin Luther moment, and soon

In England, traditional football was no more perfect than the Early Church idealised by the Protestant forefather

Rosetta's lander Philae is safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Like all good space films, ‘Rosetta’ has us hooked

Annually, the agency’s operations cost “about the same as the price of a cinema ticket” for each citizen of the 20 participating nations

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Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence