Katy Guest

Katy Guest is the literary editor of the Independent on Sunday

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The “Bechdel Test” for Swedish films: Welcome to the modern world, where women speak about more than just men

Shakespeare might fail the test too - but we're not in the 1500s anymore

Book review: Ammonites & Leaping Fish: A Life In Time, by Penelope Lively

Not a memoir, exactly, but rather “the view from old age”, Penelope Lively’s “life in time” is a reader’s pure delight. For starters, the book is a beautiful object in itself, as her books often are.

British households threw away 7.2 million tons of food in 2011

Let's check out of this supermarket swizz

Ending two-for-one deals on perishables is a positive step, but there is more to do

Going easy on parking tickets? At last, a victory for the oppressed driver

For too long councils have bathed in cash from this wronged demographic

Review: Marriage Material By Sathnam Sanghera

The increasing liberalisation of British social rules and values may be good news for women and minorities, but it must make hard work for writers of contemporary fiction. It’s a nicer world in which we can all own property and marry whom we like, but it removes much of the obvious drama from modern life and leaves all the best stories in history. Where would Romeo and Juliet have been if he could have just sent a text message? Or Pride and Prejudice if Lizzie Bennet had gone off to work in the City? Or The Old Wives’ Tale if the Baines sisters had grown up in late-20th-century Wolverhampton?

Morrisey, right, signing an autograph on one of his fan's arms

There's a Morrissey and a Ruby Tandoh in every UK office

Have you noticed in your workplace a bloke who spends all his time swaggering around loudly broadcasting how brilliant he is?

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, By Helen Fielding

There’s a bit in the middle of Mad About the Boy when the agent for Bridget’s screenplay – a modern interpretation of Hedda Gabler set in Queen’s Park – sends her a strange email. “We have a couple of responses on your script,” he writes. “They are passing. The themes are fascinating but they’re wanting more of a romcom feel. I’ll keep trying.” It could be a coincidence, but by this point it reads like a coded SOS from the author. The book is at its best when it is a poignant comic novel about a 51-year-old woman struggling to bring up children after the sudden death of her husband. It is hit-and-miss when it’s about a 51-year-old Bridget Jones who struggles with all the TV remotes and counts nits instead of Chardonnays. But on occasion it becomes a parody of a Richard Curtis film, or even worse an American sitcom, and that of course is v v bad.

Fielding: Fondly lampoons pretentiousness

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding - Review

There’s a bit in the middle of Mad About the Boy when the agent for Bridget’s screenplay – a modern interpretation of Hedda Gabler set in Queen’s Park – sends her a strange email. “We have a couple of responses on your script,” he writes. “They are passing. The themes are fascinating but they’re wanting more of a romcom feel. I’ll keep trying.” It could be a coincidence, but by this point it reads like a coded SOS from the author. The book is at its best when it is a poignant comic novel about a 51-year-old woman struggling to bring up children after the sudden death of her husband. It is hit-and-miss when it’s about a 51-year-old Bridget Jones who struggles with all the TV remotes and counts nits instead of Chardonnays. But on occasion it becomes a parody of a Richard Curtis film, or even worse an American sitcom, and that of course is v v bad.

It's OK to be Gay: the book is a collection of inspirational stories from well-known figures including entertainers, journalists, a Paralympian and a peer of the realm

Shelley Silas and Evan Davis share their coming out experiences

Extended extracts of the writer and TV presenter's 'coming out' stories from a new book launched in support of Diversity Role Models

Why do I think these uncomfortable thoughts?

I was thinking a lot this summer about armpits. You do, if you're a feminist. Because generally women shave their armpits and generally men don't; armpit hair becomes a feminist issue. But, if it's anti-feminist to shave your body, does that mean that all empowered men should wear beards? Or are we just obliged out of politeness to depilate the bits that other people see? It would seem a bit weird if a hairy man could not go sleeveless to the office, and yet women are apparently allowed to feel the summer breeze around their vest tops. What if men shaved and wore something strappy? What would happen if we all just wore the most comfortable thing we could find to do our jobs? Are comfy T-shirts just one step away from chaos? Do I think too much about armpits?

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Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

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