Extra reasons to read the Independent

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JAMES FENTON is rejoining the paper as a weekly columnist. He was on the staff of the Independent at its launch in 1986. He is a well-known poet and has been a major journalist of great versatility for two decades. He has been political columnist of the New Statesman, theatre critic of the Sunday Times and lead book reviewer of the Times, and his accounts of the fall of Saigon and the overthrow of President Marcos of the Philippines are two of the most memorable pieces of extended reporting of recent times. James Fenton's first column will appear next Monday.

BRYAN APPLEYARD, one of Britain's leading journalists, is joining the Independent. He used to write for the Times. In the Eighties he established himself as an important reporter on the arts and an outstanding interviewer. More recently he has also become a trenchant and original commentator on the state of social and intellectual life in Britain. His latest book, Understanding the Present (Science and the soul of modern Man) provoked long-running and heated debate last year. He will be writing on a wide range of topics.

SOPHIE GRIGSON is also joining the Independent. The brightest and most imaginative of the new generation of cookery writers, she recently won the Restaurateurs' Food Writer of the Year award and in April starts a major twice-a-week television series on Channel 4. She is the author of five books. As the daughter of Jane Grigson, one of the greatest of British food writers, her gastronomic education started very early and she has combined knowledge of classic values with a thoroughly modern attitude to microwave. What she has to offer will be practical, inspiring and delicious. She makes her debut on Saturday 6 February.

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