Christina Patterson

Christina Patterson is a writer, broadcaster and columnist. She writes about politics, society, culture, travel, books and the arts. She has interviewed writers and artists ranging from Martin Amis to Eddie Izzard and Werner Herzog, and did the first interview after he left office with Gordon Brown. A former director of the Poetry Society, and literary programmer at the Southbank Centre, she has written for the Observer, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, Time, the Spectator and the New Statesman. She’s a regular commentator on radio and TV news programmes, a regular reviewer on the Sky News press preview, and a regular guest on The Review Show. She has campaigned to improve standards in nursing in a series of articles in the Independent, by speaking at conferences, and in programmes she has made for Radio 4 and The One Show. Christina is the only woman on the shortlist for the Orwell Prize 2013. She has now left The Independent, but can be contacted via her website, www.christinapatterson.co.uk .

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The Independent around the web
Let children play outside and pick flowers, the National Trust says

Christina Patterson: It's not just children who never get the pleasure of walking in pathless woods

It wasn't exactly Wordsworth, but it's probably the nearest she'll get. "I thought," said my mother, who thinks a mobile phone is something for a special occasion, but who has recently learnt to attach photos to emails, which she now does all the time, "that you'd like to see these lovely daffodils."

Christina Patterson: To win the war on gangs, you have to make their members cry

Being in a gang is like being in a family. But one without parents and where children play with guns

Carry on shopping: Asma Assad knows a lot about jewellery

Christina Patterson: Asma Assad's top tips on necklaces, heels, chandeliers – and courage

Asma Assad is very modest. "I am," she says, "absolutely clueless when it comes to fine jewellery!" But I don't think she should say things like that. I don't think she should do herself down. To me, it doesn't sound as though she's at all "clueless" when it comes to ordering jewellery. To me, it sounds as though she knows an awful lot.

Christina Patterson: Our folly is to think of houses as dreams, not places to live in

Some people think that if they made money through their home they earned it

Serious: Jonathan Franzen prefers people who don’t 'yak'

Christina Patterson: Franzen's right that Twitter can be a curse. But it can also be miraculous

Lady Gaga and Jonathan Franzen have quite a lot in common. They're both American. They're both famous. They're both rich. They're also both artists, and not just any old artists, but the kind of artists other artists want to be, the kind of artists who have millions of fans. But there's one thing they don't have in common, and that's a love of Twitter.

Christina Patterson: Sisters, we've let our teenage daughters down

If they studied history and learnt about feminism, they might wonder what had happened to those battles
Former policeman David Rathband was found dead on Thursday

Christina Patterson: David Rathband found out just how much our society scorns the disabled

It can take a second. It can, of course, take much longer than that, but it can take just a second for a life to fall apart. For David Rathband, it took a few seconds for an unemployed bouncer to puncture his eyeballs, with 200 pellets from two separate gunshots, and it took a few months for his marriage to unravel, and it took a few more months for him to decide that he'd rather be dead.

Christina Patterson: I can't vote for Boris. But I also can't vote for Ken

The man who used to be mayor of London is very much like the man who is currently mayor of London
So there: Einstein's theory of physics still stands

Christina Patterson: If you want a job, 'slave labour' at Tesco isn't a bad place to start

They seem to think that working in a shop is something that should make you feel demeaned

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Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone