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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Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
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Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
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Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test