Arts and Entertainment

Bombay Bicycle Club “So Long, See You” (Tomorrow Island)

Novelists writing ballads? Song-writers dashing off novels? What does it all mean?

Does success in one genre guarantee it in another?

The restoration game: Crossways in leafy Hanwell, west London, has failed to sell at auction and may continue to lie derelict

Property news roundup: Why do tenants rent?

Plus Six Nations property breakdown, empty homes, homelessness, and rents in UK cities

Nathan Filer: One minute interview

Where are you now and what can you see?

I’m at the BBC recording Front Row and apparently I’m looking at a brass bust of Henry Wood. The statue is in the foyer.

Arifa Akbar: We've come a long way since the 'madwoman in the attic': week in books

For a long time, the mentally ill were dumb and mute in literature. Inarticulacy surrounded those lumped together as Bedlamites: Jane Eyre’s classic “madwoman” in the attic, for instance, served as little more than a plot device, a thing to fear and loathe that got in the way of a Gothic romance.

Barry Miles's Book of a Lifetime: Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs

Without question, the book that has most influenced my life has been Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs. I was astonished by the outrageous pot-head humour: crazy ideas taken way beyond their normal limits. The book was a savage indictment of American racism and consumerism, it dealt with the corruption, graft and lies of politicians with Swiftian humour. I had never read anything like, then or since.

Cacheco reads one of his poems in Mexico City; his birthplace formed the backdrop to his writing

Jose Emilio Pacheco: Poet, essayist and novelist who won the Cervantes Prize and was regarded as one of the finest writers in Spanish

Jose Emilio Pacheco was considered one of the finest writers in the Spanish language, winning the Cervantes Prize for Literature in 2009, the highest award for writers in what is the native language of more than 300 million people. The award from the Spanish Ministry of Culture was presented at the University of Alcala by Spain's King Juan Carlos. In his later years Pacheco became visiting Professor of Literature at the University of Essex.

Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, pictured in 1944

‘Lost’ Dylan Thomas play starring Richard Burton given first radio broadcast

Original production of South Pacific mystery 'The Beach of Falesá' was shelved after poet’s death in 1953

David Cameron and Al Murray are ‘distant cousins’ family records show

David Cameron and Al Murray are ‘distant cousins’ family records show

The pair are related, equally randomly, through 19th century Vanity Fair writer William Thackeray

Yarl's Wood in Bedfordshire, Britain’s largest Immigration Removal Centre

Handling of female asylum seekers ‘puts UK to shame’

The hidden plight of women asylum seekers detained in Britain is exposed today as a major new report warns that female rape and torture victims are being locked up indefinitely, suffering from depression and being intimidated by male guards.

Nathan Filer, winner of the 2013 Costa Book of the Year

Costa Book of the Year: Debut novelist Nathan Filer is shock winner of prestigious prize

33-year-old upsets the odds with his novel 'The Shock of the Fall' - the story of a teenager's descent into mental illness

Benedict Wong at the Almeida Theatre where he is starring in Chimerica as Chinese dissident Zhang Lin

Chimerica triumphs at Critics Circle Theatre Awards

The play picked up three awards with Rory Kinnear winning two

The truth about revenge sex: What research tells us about going on the rebound

Popular belief that people who are 'dumped' by their partners are more likely to have sex motivated by revenge is in part true, says study

Arifa Akbar: An author who is writing his best work from beyond the grave

Some great authors have published their worst works from beyond the grave. A few though, keep getting better when they’re dead, such as the Chilean novelist and short story writer, Roberto Bolaño. His seminal five-part novel, 2666, came out posthumously, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and convinced the world he was not just a master of the short form but could put out his life’s best work at nearly 900 pages, even after death.

Christians march in the streets in 2012, calling for reforms of the country's blasphemy laws. Muhammad Asghar, a British pensioner who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, has been denied legal independent legal advice

Mohammed Asghar blasphemy case: This flagrant breach of rights must be undone

Last Thursday, Mohammed Asghar, a 69-year-old shopkeeper from Edinburgh who has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, was sentenced to death. The sentence came after two marathon hearings and a three-year trial process.

Catholics are more likely to vote Labour while Church of England worshippers vote Conservative, claims new research

Catholics are more likely to vote Labour while Church of England worshippers most consistently back the Conservatives, according to new research.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?