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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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

Google Glass complainers are concerned about the loss of privacy. Isn't it a bit late for that?

Plus: Who let Sebastian Faulks do a new Wodehouse? My envy is unconstrained

As Iceland says no to pornography, will the rest of us follow?

Iceland’s interior minister is drafting legislation to stop access of online porn through computers, consoles and smartphones

University for the over 60s? It should be available at any age

David Willets has said that higher education can benefit an older generation in the workplace, but there are better reasons than that one might want to enrol

Bangladeshi activists participate in a candle light vigil demanding the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah and others convicted of war crimes during the nation's independence war in 1971

The war Bangladesh can never forget

The guns fell silent more than 40 years ago, but the scars of Bangladesh’s short, bloody struggle for independence still burn to this day

Oscar Pistorius launches out of the blocks during last year’s Paralympics

Oscar Pistorius: Look up to anyone – just not sportsmen

Tell your children to admire their dentist, their teacher, a lawyer, even a banker

Why don’t more politicians wax poetical like Winston Churchill?

There are one or two who would probably contribute to the public good much more effectively by writing poetry

Equal marriage: We've come a long way, and in 20 years' time we won't recall what the fuss was about

There is still stigma and shame, but this step says you're allowed to fall in love with whomever you like - no matter their gender or your own

We've come a very long way - and in 20 years' time we won't recall what the fuss was about

Being able to describe themselves as married will help gay couples to challenge ignorance

David Beckham's move to Paris is a chance to reflect on the modern ease of international travel

Plus: Mamma Mia, La Lolla! Screen goddesses aren't what they were

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Bread from heaven

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How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
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The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
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300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
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14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk