Howard Jacobson

Celebrated novelist Howard Jacobson's most recent novel is Man Booker-nominated 'J'. He has also written 'The Finkler Question', published to great acclaim in 2010. An acerbic critic and broadcaster with a passion for literature and art, he is known for his ebullient wit.

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Royal approval: the Duchess of Cornwall presents Richard Flanagan with the Man Booker Prize for Fiction

This is what it feels like to not win the Man Booker Prize

You never know for certain when you are going to win a prize, but you know for certain when you aren’t

For many Jews, Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – is still the most important day of the year

The parable of the rabbi from Kiev, Yom Kippur and the half-eaten bar of chocolate

Did he think he could half atone for half a sin? Did he think he might be half forgiven?

George Clooney and his wife Amal Alamuddin are surrounded by media and security boats as they tour the Grand Canal after leaving their hotel

Inside Venice for George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's wedding

A reliable and avuncular-looking short man had chosen to get married in Venice – and I was there

Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

Strictly Come Dancing has been struck by the curse of light entertainment

As the man who brought the twist to Cambridge’s English faculty, I know about dancing. And Strictly trivialises it

Few things are more shameful than death – which may be why so many of us go at a time of our choosing

The ultimate ignominy for any living human being is to be reduced to a carcass

Exclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel about love and the letter 'J'

In this exclusive extract, we meet  Kevern Cohen and Ailinn Solomons. Are they falling in love or, under the shadow of What Happened, If It Happened, are they too anxious to take the risk? She is an orphan, he was brought up to seal his lips; both fear they have been pushed into each others arms. But why?

Sorrento

I was about 12 when I began celebrating my birthday by sobbing over sad music

Some thoughts lie too deep for tears. But it’s through tears that we access them

A doctor injects a patient with Botox at a cosmetic treatment center

Why do women opt for cosmetic surgery when there is such beauty in age?

Women are trading their dignity and grace for the furious flower of plastic evil

Win a holiday for two and a travel-writing commission

The truly wonderful thing about being a painter, writer, or musician is escaping the self

To lose oneself in making art is an incomparable way of living life

Stand up for curry! It can save your life

As long as you’re not sitting down while eating it

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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?