Arts and Entertainment

Pamela Erens’s second novel is an anthem for doomed youth, an intense tale of teenage failure to make the leap to adult life. It is sensitively told, with Updike-like observation, but boy is it gloomy and joyless, and not recommended for neurotic parents of a teenager.

The Virgins by Pamela Erens; book review

We are introduced to Bruce Bennett-Jones, the narrator of Pamela Erens’s stunning second novel The Virgins, as he first meets Aviva Rossner, a new student at Auburn Academy, the elite East Coast boarding school where they’re high school seniors. Aviva has “long, kinky hair and pale skin,” and wears heavy kohl around her eyes and “V-neck sweaters that tease you into thinking you will catch a glimpse of her breasts”, high-heeled boots and gold hoop earrings. She’s sexy. So sexy in fact, Bruce attempts to rape her in the school boathouse.

Aviva sets aside £100m for clients’ compensation claims

Aviva has been forced to set aside almost £100m after two former workers in its fund management arm breached its trading policy.   

Rhino charges towards a sale

Rugby speciality retailer looking to target well-heeled sports fans in stake sale

Market Report: Imagination gains from Apple move

Microchip makers piggybacked on a rally at Apple yesterday sparked by Carl Icahn, the veteran US investor, taking a stake the iPhone maker. Apple shares hit a six-month high after Mr Icahn revealed on Twitter that he is pushing for a larger buyback at the US tech giant after he built up a large position in Apple and held talks with its chief executive, Tim Cook.

Aviva shares are leaping after it doubles profits

Aviva's straight-talking boss Mark Wilson won a few more friends in the City yesterday as signs of his company's turnaround finally began to show.

James Moore: High streets need action on charges for recovery

Outlook Are the doom-mongers who warn of high streets turning into identikit wastelands consisting of only Starbucks, Costa, supermarket convenience stores, bookies and charity shops, overstating the case?

New Aviva chief slashes dividend as he continues drive to overhaul insurer

Aviva boss Mark Wilson will this week update investors on the progress he is making overhauling the insurance giant.

State schooling ‘costs parents £22,500’

Parents are forking out more than £22,500 on average to put a child through school, researchers claim.

Prudential shareholders in pay protest

Prudential was hit by a minor revolt at its annual meeting as investors criticised the company's decision to hand out £30m in pay to directors last year.

Sales boost helps insurer Aviva edge towards recovery

Aviva today took tentative steps towards a recovery by posting  a steady, if not sexy, set of first-quarter numbers.

Aviva boss averts five-year pay freeze call

Aviva chairman John McFarlane has fended off demands from shareholders for a five-year pay freeze and calls for the head of the insurer's remuneration committee.

Aviva faces new investor row

Aviva’s revamped management team faces a stormy reception at its annual meeting this week with shareholders likely to demand an immediate reversal in the insurer’s fortunes. 

Usain Bolt is expected to appear at the Olympic Stadium this summer

British Athletics predict drop in sponsorship in run up to Rio Olympics

Aviva deal ended after the London 2012 Olympics

A Government review of pension drawdown rules could leave many retired people out of pocket

Drawdown rule changes could cost pensioners

New regulations are likely to hit hundreds of people on flexible incomes, says Sarah Davidson

Simon English: This Aviva turnaround seems a long time coming

Outlook One reason for the Pru's belief in its own excellence is the endless strife endured across town at its arch-rival, Aviva.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform