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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Today is a bigger Shabbes than usual in the Jewish world because it has been chosen to launch the Shabbos Project

Shabbes exerts a pull on all Jews, and today is bigger than ever

We call it the day of rest, but I’m not convinced it’s rest we most need

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

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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain