Philip Hensher

Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Exeter, Philip Hensher was among Granta 20 Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. The author of six novels, a collection of short stories and an opera libretto, he has won numerous prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award and the Stonewall Journalist of the Year. His 2008 novel, 'The Northern Clemency', was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Prize. A regular presence in the British media, alongside his Wednesday column for The Independent, he writes for The Spectator and Mail on Sunday.

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(Top row) Akhtar Dogar, Anjum Dogar, Kamar Jamil; (Bottom row) Assad Hussain, Bassam Karrar, Mohammed Karrar and Zeeshan Ahmed

The Oxford sex ring shows how the sexual manners of a new place can be tragically misinterpreted

What drove these men was deracination: a detachment from one culture, and a failure to attach or understand another. They believed they could get away with it

September babies have an advantage in education - and that's just the way schools like it

What these findings really indicate is how much education – and the testing of achievement – has been run by institutions for the benefit of institutions

The scars of Bangladesh’s birth have yet to heal

The Pakistani army tried to cripple the new nation by murdering those who might become leaders

Value for money? The arts have nothing to fear

It makes money; it develops projects; it creates high earners, as well as employing large numbers of dedicated people who work for almost nothing

The rich have a duty to spend extravagantly

I take my hat off to the lottery winners who decided to splash their cash around

Hear that? From Adele to Mantel, 2013 has been played out to the sound of women rising

We have come a long way since days when nobody would buy a girl band's records

The joy of the Rijksmuseum: A museum mustn’t be afraid of being boring

Museums are about more than plunging you into a holistic version of the past

Do we really want pop stars from public school?

Music has been affected by a political conspiracy that assumes that the creative arts are just for the rich or the posh

Laugh at Cardinal Keith O'Brien, but not his victims

Plus: If an Ivon Hitchens painting can fetch a six-figure sum, the long-expected crash in the value of art looks a long way off

It’s a miracle that any opera ever gets performed

Opera is an extraordinary thing, and its triumphs rest, like no other art form, on the physical and musical capacities of very rare individuals

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Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
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