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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Books of the year 2013: Fiction in translation

How should authors transform autobiography into self-standing fiction? For Karl Ove Knausgaard, with A Man in Love (translated by Don Bartlett; Vintage, £8.99), this second volume in the Norwegian writer's acclaimed "My Struggle" series mines the everyday material of young fatherhood. Yet he converts it into a stunningly eloquent set of reflections on masculinity, domesticity and the artist's itch to escape.

Like it or not, the Scots and the English are flesh and blood

Inspect the details of this diluted nationalism and one thing becomes clear. It embraces, even celebrates, a cross-border world

Blinding: the Left Wing, By Mircea Cartarescu: Book review - memory and satire meld magically in this Bucharest tale

The media hysterics who depict Romania solely as the home of demon migrant hordes will not care that a novelist from that country became a hot tip for the Nobel Prize in Literature this year.

Family values: 'It's a Wonderful Life'

It's a Wonderful Life - the sequel: Dream town or dystopian vision?

It's a Wonderful Life is a classic 1940s feelgood movie; what might its sequel tell us about the modern world?

Paperback review: Time's Anvil, By Richard Morris

“One thing we bring to time,” writes archaeologist Richard Morris in this multi-levelled book about digging up the English past, “is a compulsion to split it up”.

1978: All six members of the Monty Python team on location in Tunisia to film 'Monty Python's Life of Brian'

Resistance is futile. ‘Monty Python’ is part of a 60s cultural hegemony that grips us to this day

It's more than just blazing talent that has secured the Pythons’ longevity

Feathered friends: the 1964 film ‘Emil and the Detectives’

Why Emil and the Detectives author Erich Kästner wouldn't bow to the Nazis

Boyd Tonkin looks back at the writer's life as Kästner's evergreen tale previews at the National this week

Doris Lessing continued to write until 2008, leaving behind almost 30 novels

Boyd Tonkin on Doris Lessing: A woman perpetually in flight comes to rest at last

Nobel literature laureate Doris Lessing died at 94 years of age in London after a journey in print that took her from colonial Rhodesia to alternate worlds

Book review: Prince, By Matt Thorne

Clad in (what else?) a purple jacket, Thorne's updated epic of scholarly fandom boasts just the kind of passionate excess that has marked the 35-year top-flight musical career of Prince Rogers Nelson.

11 November 2013: Palestinian youth hold portraits of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat during a march in the West Bank town of Hebron to mark the ninth anniversary of Arafat's death

Assassins can change history – but not in the way they expect

With the age of genocidal despots, the moral ambiguities thicken. Would you have killed Hitler prior to, or even during, the Second World War?

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Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis