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

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A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week