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

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice