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Secret Son, By Laila Lalami

Laila Lalami's first collection of short stories, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, opened with four Moroccans attempting to exit their beleaguered homeland across the Strait of Gibraltar, in hope to (illegally) enter into that European diasporic "paradise" that her North African predecessor Tahar Ben Jelloun has long dramatised in French. In her debut novel, Secret Son, she explores what it means for her characters to stay rather than flee from the socio-political morass that is modern-day Morocco. It is a refreshing starting point by Lalami, a Moroccan-born American émigrée, to concentrate on the divided worlds and hopes of reinvention within Morocco's own borderlines.

Hollywood rediscovers rum, music and the magic of Havana

Big acting names travel to Cuban capital amid signs of thaw

Credo: Salvatore Calabrese

Bartender, 54

Speed reading: Breaking the read limit

Wasting time savouring books rather than just absorbing the facts? The web could help boost your speed. John Walsh reports

Question Time: Camilla Wright

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The facts of life: the culture of love

In 2002, the American Film Institute named the 1942 classic Casablanca as the greatest movie love story. Gone With The Wind came in second place, followed by West Side Story.

Car Choice: So who won my old Bimmer? The Bangernomist with sausages ...

And the winner is .... Well, before we get to the Bangernomic bottom line of just who won my eccentric competition, for those of you who didn't read my feature on 11 May, let me recap. I decided to give away a perfectly good car with a full year's MOT, a brace of new tyres and a recent service . In these difficult, cash-poor times it seemed the right thing to do. All the entrants needed to do was make one of those new-fangled video things explaining just what Bangernomics is.

First Night: Zorro, Garrick Theatre, London

Lacklustre Latin swashbuckler fails to make the cut

Johann Hari: No wonder 'Gone With The Wind' has failed

Lordly lordy lord Miss Scarlett, this musical be one biiiiiig turkey! The Gone With The Wind musical in London – a thrilling experiment in singalong slavery and whoopin' white supremacy – is closing after six weeks. I sensed something was wrong when I settled into my seat and realised I was opposite a large sign saying "Negroes For Sale", with a group of black audience members sitting uncomfortably below. We watched – open-mouthed and gaping – for three-and-a-half hours as the Confederacy tap-danced and jazz-handed its way to defeat.

Verita Thompson: Humphrey Bogart's secret mistress

In 1982, when the starlet turned wig-maker Verita Thompson revealed that for 13 years she was Humphrey Bogart's lover, it surprised many in the film industry as well as admirers of the actor, one of the most iconic in cinema history. Along with his reputation as a hard-drinking, no-nonsense personality who gave indelible performances in such films as The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca and The African Queen, Bogart was also famous for his outwardly ideal marriage to sultry Lauren Bacall, his fourth wife, who gave him two children and remained with him from their marriage in 1945 until his death in 1957.

Thomas Sutcliffe: What I learned during my time in the ranks

It wasn't entirely clear, from the weekend's reports on Quentin Davies' proposal that more comprehensive school children should be encouraged to sign up for the cadet corps, exactly what the initiative was meant to achieve. Mr Davies himself seems to think that it is a hearts-and-minds operation, improving attitudes towards the armed forces. A spokesman for the National Association of Headteachers hinted that it might be about supplying a sense of discipline and order to teenagers whose home life is generally as regimented as a bad day in Basra.

Ben Hur star Charlton Heston dies

Charlton Heston, who won the 1959 best actor Oscar as the chariot-racing Ben Hur and portrayed Moses, Michelangelo, El Cid and other figures in Hollywood epics of the 1950s and 60s, has died aged 84, his family said today.

Confessions of an Irish censor: why Clark Gable, 'Casablanca' and Cliff got the chop

In their decades-long crusade to preserve Ireland's innocence, the country's notoriously strict film censors banned violent movies such as A Clockwork Orange, The Wild Bunch and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

They've got it taped: The appeal of the home-made tribute

The big concept behind Michel Gondry's new film Be Kind Rewind is the remaking of classic movies on a shoestring budget. Starring Jack Black and Mos Def, the movie had its world premiere at the Sundance festival this week. Now its French director wants everyone to take their camcorders and remake classic films using household items as props, with friends and non-actors as cast and crew, and post the results on the internet.

Sport
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
football
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
News
Lizards, such as Iguanas (pictured), have a unique pattern of tissue growth
science
Extras
indybest
News
Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
people
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
Property
A cupboard on sale for £7,500 in London
lifeAnother baffling example of the capital’s housing crisis
Career Services

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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home