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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Why can't we have more TV presenters like Mary Beard?

Disagree with me, sure. But don't wish me dead

Our writer suffered threats of violence and sustained abuse after writing about disability benefits. Here he reflects on the phenomenon of online hate campaigns

Some people on disability benefits are fit to work

If a proper assessment by professionals could be carried out – not a questionnaire, just a doctor’s sense of the possible – then we might have fewer tragedies

One just knows when a onesie is not for one - as Nick Clegg would do well to remember

Plus: The £25 view from the Shard’s highest levels tells a fraction of the capital’s story

Granta's once-a-decade list of rising novelists is more important than ever

In an increasingly crowded book market, this list of Who will be Who matters to readers because, on the whole, it has got things right.

Instagram: When do my pictures become their property?

The question has grown much more heated with the advent of the internet

Our last chance to save the British high street

The high street has been changing for a long time, but it's not too late to appreciate it again.

Only fools are impressed by parental connections, but they're important on Ucas forms

Plus: Why all the fuss about the Picturehouse buyout when our rich tapestry of cinemas is in tatters?

Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln

If Daniel Day-Lewis can do Spielberg's Lincoln, why can't we have 'Lord Salisbury: the Musical'?

We like to think of ourselves as intensely engaged with history. If that's true, what happened to the British drama of political life? Also, the imperial legacy to gays

I went to France as a student. Now I’d choose Kolkata

One student from England has already enrolled in an Indian university - and you can bet that many more will follow in future

The avant-garde lives on. Just listen to Dizzee Rascal

The most extraordinary innovations in music may never be to the taste of millions, but they are nonetheless part of our collective imagination

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Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine