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.
28 February 2014 05:11 PM
The Oscars can still ignite scorching rows about film and its role in shaping national conscience – but not in Hollywood
21 February 2014 07:56 PM
If Scotland votes yes, supporters of the union will find themselves citizens of a country that commands none of their loyalty
20 February 2014 06:01 PM
Translated by Sondra Silverston
14 February 2014 07:16 PM
Along the Lower Thames this week, J G Ballard’s imagined drowned world has not arrived quite yet. It is not far off
14 February 2014 12:00 AM
Three soldiers come home for a ten-day leave from a savage and stupid overseas war that has robbed them of “the best years of their lives”. Far from welcoming them as heroes, or even trying to understand their pain, the oblivious citizenry indulges in “crude nationalist bluster” that sidesteps both the horror of the struggle and the anguish of those who fight and suffer it.
07 February 2014 07:17 PM
Britain’s classroom disability persists: the 7 per cent of pupils educated privately account for 50 to 70 per cent of senior professionals from law to politics
07 February 2014 12:00 AM
In May 2012, at the International Writers’ Festival in Jerusalem, I heard David Grossman talk with spellbinding candour and tenderness about the family grief that lies behind this book. Part-narrative poem, part-Greek tragedy, part-uncanny folk-tale from the spirit-thronged world of Isaac Bashevis Singer, Falling Out of Time consists of an elegiac tapestry of voices. All belong to bereaved parents. Death has for each smashed the law that “a father should not outlive his child”. After years of mute agony “on the gallows of grief”, these lost souls - fathers and mothers alike - strive to frame the words that might lay their scandalous suffering to rest. Readers of the Bible will also remember another David, the distraught king: “Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
03 February 2014 07:53 PM
JK Rowling says she now regrets yoking Hermione Grainger to Ron Weasley. But should authors leave well alone once they’ve finished writing?
A pint with Dylan Thomas: Mark the centenary of the great poet's birth with a trip around the west coast of Wales that inspired him
02 February 2014 12:00 AM
'People say that Dylan Thomas spent a lot of time in pubs, but I think he spent a lot of time on paths." Less breathless than me, and more used to the gradient, the poet Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch is striding up a steep, narrow track that winds towards a panoramic hill-top vista. Below us lies the little port of New Quay in Ceredigion on the west coast of Wales.
31 January 2014 07:42 PM
Genius has no need of demographic tables. Shakespeare would not have seen many examples of age-related dementia at a time when average life expectancy hardly reached 40
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 3 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence referendum: JK Rowling, Russell Brand, Nigel Farage and more react to the 'No' vote