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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Book review: On the Map, By Simon Garfield

Garfield's panoramic, erudite and enjoyable survey of cartography begins with Facebook's map of the world (2010; but where's Africa?) and Eratosthenes in third-century BC Alexandria.

Book review: Exercises in Style, By Raymond Queneau Alma

Midway between Lewis Carroll and Jacques Derrida, in a deliriously witty dimension of its own, lies Queneau's Exercises in Style.

Book review: Both Flesh and Not, By David Foster Wallace

Readers intrigued by the late author but deterred by the sheer bulk of Infinite Jest or The Pale King should enjoy this nursery-slope of his selected essays. Not that DFW ever lets himself off the hook.

Donna Tartt's third, highly anticipated novel is called The Goldfinch

Book review: The Goldfinch, By Donna Tartt

A little picture of a bird drives this sumptuously furnished novel. Boyd Tonkin argues that it also guards the secret of its author's art

Morrissey's autobiography, published by Penguin Classics, is not your average celebrity memoir

Book Review: Autobiography by Morrissey - Droning narcissism and the whine of self-pity

Morrissey's reputation will survive this, but Penguin Classics won't

A suitably entrancing winner sends the Booker prize on its way to a bigger stage

After 44 years, in its final edition not open to American authors, the Man Booker Prize has gone out (or at least changed shape) with a truly pyrotechnic bang. Canadian-born, raised in Yorkshire but resident in New Zealand (which country’s 1860s Gold Rush inspired her massive, virtuosic novel), Eleanor Catton in her own background almost embodies the now-defunct Booker remit of British-and-Commonwealth fiction.

The long road back to El Dorado: Colombia is rediscovering its ancient trade in gold

Can a resurgence of interest in Colombia's original lucrative export – gold – finally shake off the country's powdery reputation? Boyd Tonkin travels to Bogotá to find out

Book review: Pushkin Hills, By Sergei Dovlatov Alma

Uproarious, reckless, zany, Sergei Dovlatov (who died in American exile in 1990) belonged to the last generation of dissident authors in the doomed USSR.

Book review: Lion Heart, By Justin Cartwright

Middle Eastern risk and mystery drive a novel of quests and quandaries

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers