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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Down and out, Wayne Rooney slumps to the ground after England's 2-1 defeat to Uruguay

The winner may take all, but sportsmanship and the plucky loser are still to be celebrated

The art of losing is chronically overlooked, but there is much to learn from it

Hacking trial: The Establishment is dead. Long live the Establishment

Perhaps we should broaden our view of institutional power and those who wield it

The outlook's Rosie: Laurie Lee in Slad, a landscape 'farmed and fenced by literature'

Laurie Lee: As I walked out one Midsummer morning

A century ago tomorrow saw the birth of Laurie Lee, whose most famous work, Cider with Rosie, immortalised the countryside of his youth. Boyd Tonkin strolls through the Slad Valley to see what remains of its celebrated past
Slanted contribution to the debate: Gordon Brown, at the Scottish Labour launch to keep Scotland as part of the UK, May 2013

The art of political storytelling isn't lost on the Scots

The Yes camp has had the stronger story to recount: richer in history, deeper in feeling, grounded in a politics of progress rather than dread

The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters by Adam Nicolson; The Last Days of Troy by Simon Armitage, book reviews

A journey by land and sea extols the perennial power of the greatest epic poems
Past life: Tristram Hunt, the shadow Education Secretary, and author of ‘Ten Cities that Made an Empire’

Write honourable members: The 2010 class of MPs

The 2010 House of Commons intake includes a surprising number of practising historians. Are they in danger of giving politicians a good name, asks Boyd Tonkin

Javier Cercas interview: Picking over the wounds of Spain’s recent past

Boyd Tonkin meets him as King Juan Carlos gave the tale a new twist

British Prime Minister Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and Mayor of London Boris Johnson wait for a train at Newark station in central England, following a visit to the town were they campaigned ahead of the Newark by-election

Court and country do battle in Newark

Just as much as the walls of Newark Castle, the Polish war graves belong at the heart of English, and British, heritage

Computer generated image showing brain activity

The Longitude Prize gives us a new hero

The Longitude Prize is a great way to find a new John Harrison. But why stop at that?

Iraq's 'Irvine Welsh' wins the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Iraqi Christ

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has its first Arabic winner. And what a winner: Hassan Blasim’s The Iraqi Christ, translated by Jonathan Wright, is a collection of 14 short stories set largely in the blood-stained and hope-drained aftermath of the 2003 invasion and occupation.

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Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat