Arts and Entertainment

Every week another literary shortlist is announced, a judging panel revealed, a couple of longlists named, with a juicily controversial omission or a tediously predictable inclusion. But if The Parrots is to be believed, none is more significant than The Prize, the loftiest of all literary accolades, for which there are just three men in contention. They are The Beginner, The Writer and The Master. And for each of these men, the outcome really, really matters. In the Italian writer Filippo Bologna's smart new novel, we watch the three finalists in the countdown to the big announcement.

Pablo Osvaldo in action for Italy

Player analysis: The lowdown on £15m Southampton signing Pablo Osvaldo

Saints broke their record transfer fee for the second time this season after they shelled out £15m for the Italian, but what will he offer fans at St Mary's?

In The Studio: Luigi Ontani, artist

'My photographs are not documents – they're not simulacra, they're imaginary'

Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana worried about Southampton's poor start to season

Southampton captain Adam Lallana has revealed the club's current plight keeps him awake at night.

Gaston Ramirez (2nd L) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the opening goal

Southampton's £12m signing Gaston Ramirez out for six weeks

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins has confirmed club record signing Gaston Ramirez faces six weeks on the sidelines.

Helmut Haller scored for West Germany in the 1966 World Cup

1966 World Cup final goalscorer Helmut Haller dies at 73

Helmut Haller, who scored for West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final against England and took the match ball home before returning it to the Football Association 30 years later, has died at the age of 73, his home club Augsburg said yesterday.

Beauty contest celebrates Italy's alarming obsession with silicone

Research showed 14 per cent of 16- and 17-year-old Italian girls would undergo breast surgery

<b>Gaston Ramirez</b><br/>
Gaston Ramirez has attracted a lot of interest so far this summer with Liverpool, Juventus and Manchester City all reportedly chasing him. Recently the Bologna general director said that the club are negotiating with a big European team over the player. A bid of £20m is said to be required for the player's signature, but if it comes to a bidding war City have more than enough financial clout to come out on top. The midfielder scored eight goals in 33 games last season in the league demonstrating a threat in front of goal as well as vision and creativity.

Southampton hopeful of completing deal for Gaston Ramirez despite Bologna delay

Southampton hope to complete the signing of Gaston Ramirez despite Bologna delaying the move due to their financial troubles.

Gaston Ramirez

Southampton close in on £11.8m Gaston Ramirez

Gaston Ramirez is edging closer to a move to Southampton, Press Association Sport understands.

<b> Luka Modric: </b> The diminutive midfielder once again showed what a fantastic player he is, exhibiting his full range of passing with unnerving accuracy. Created Croatia's best chance of the game with sublime ball from the outside of his right foot. 7

Croatia head coach expects Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric to complete Real Madrid switch

Croatia's head coach is disappointed Andre Villas-Boas is not picking Luka Modric, but expects the unsettled playmaker to complete his move from Tottenham to Real Madrid soon.

Get me out of here: France, Bologna, Boston

Now... On 18 August, Venue Holidays has a week's family camping in France at the La Croix du Vieux Pont site near Paris and Reims. It costs £683 for two adults and up to four children in a mobile home, plus Dover-Calais ferry crossing (

Alessandro Diamanti starred for Italy against England

Bologna eager to retain Italy penalty hero Alessandro Diamanti

Bologna have no intention of selling Alessandro Diamanti this summer, according to club president Albano Guaraldi.

Gaston Ramirez

Bologna 'negotiating with important club' over sale of Manchester City and Liverpool 'target' Gaston Ramirez

Bologna general director Roberto Zanzi has revealed they are negotiating with a top European club over the sale of sought-after playmaker Gaston Ramirez.

A house and car severely damaged in Ferrara, Italy following a magnitude-6.0 earthquake

Second powerful earthquake kills 15 people

At least 15 people died and 12 were missing yesterday after the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna was struck by a powerful earthquake, the second to hit the area in just ten days.

Buildings in Mirandola were badly hit

At least 16 dead in second major earthquake near Bologna

Shock felt throughout northern Italy as an estimated 14,000 people are made homeless

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Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause