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Armando Iannucci recently said that the UK falls behind the US  when it comes to female comedy writers. Do you find it to be a male-dominated industry?

Delighted! 1,000,000 Britons prepare to enjoy a rattling good read

Twenty thousand people handed out a record number of tomes across the country for the first World Book Night

Great expectations for adaptation of 'best un-produced script'

For years a proposed film adaptation of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations by one of Britain's best-loved authors languished in production limbo. The script had even been given the back-handed compliment of an inclusion on an annual list of the best British scripts that could not get made.

A daring new take on a Dickens classic

Relocating Great Expectations to Calcutta is a bold move. Arifa Akbar discovers how a playwright rose to the challenge

When Love Speaks, Edited By Adam O'Riordan

As WB Yeats wrote in a poem not included here (though several of his gems appear), "How but in custom and in ceremony/ Are innocence and beauty born?"

Girl in a Blue Dress, By Gaynor Arnold

Bleak household

Letter from the editor: Keeping an i on education

I don’t know what the precise procedure is for beatification, but I’d like to put forward the name of Mr Paul Wadey, the Head of English at Gad’s Hill School near Rochester in Kent.

King of the New Wave: BFI salutes the brilliant, groundbreaking French film-maker François Truffaut

If there is one scene that sums up the work of the French film-maker François Truffaut (the subject of a major retrospective at the BFI next month), it's a moment midway through his 1976 film, Small Change, about children growing up in a small town in France. A baby boy called Gregory is left alone in a high-rise apartment. He is playing with a pet kitten that refuses to come in from the window ledge and then gets stuck. Gregory playfully tries to rescue the kitten, loses his grip and falls downward to his certain death... but he doesn't die. "Gregory went boom!" the little youngster tells the adult onlookers as he dusts himself off on the ground dozens of floors below. His mother faints. Gregory makes no fuss. Nor does Truffaut. In his universe, no harm should ever be allowed to come to children. The film-maker was, as one friend described him, "a kind soul" and "a treasure trove of tenderness".

The unfinished books that writers can't put down

The latest attempt to complete Charles Dickens 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' follows a great literary tradition, reports Alice-Azania Jarvis

Book Of A Lifetime: Bleak House, By Charles Dickens

Walking into the wrong lecture theatre at the University of York in the spring of 1974, I found myself listening to a dramatised reading of Dickens's 'Bleak House' by a bearded lecturer who took the parts of Mr Chadband and Little Jo the crossing sweeper. Having "done" 'Oliver Twist' and 'David Copperfield' at school, I had no idea that later Dickens novels were masterpieces of attacks on hypocrisy, religion and the charitable classes. I went straight home and read the novel, which came with an introduction by the American academic J Hillis Miller.

A Dickens in a dark Disneyland

Celebrated in his Norwegian homeland, Jo Nesbo became a global sensation with 'The Snowman'. He talked to Christian House

Book Of A Lifetime: Poems, By George Herbert

There are two books I cannot contemplate living without. The first is Dickens's 'Great Expectations' and the second the 'Poems of George Herbert'. I have taken my little Oxford World's Classics edition of the latter, bought in 1957, everywhere I have ever been. It has sustained, delighted and moved me in the heat of Australia and the ferocious cold of the American North-West. Herbert is the most sweet-tempered of the great Metaphysical poets and perhaps the most subtle too. Consider these lines from "Giddinesse":

Dickens series commissioned ahead of anniversary

The BBC will screen a new version of Great Expectations ahead of the 200th anniversary of the birth of novelist Charles Dickens.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: The ghost of Tiny Tim haunts coalition's children in need

The Government's speedy and savage assaults on the welfare state are taking us back to exploitative and deeply unequal Victorian Britain

The Seven Poor Travellers, By Charles Dickens

"Charles Dickens" here means editor as well as author. This is the fifth Christmas number, from 1854, of his journal Household Words. Dickens himself tops and tails the festive story cycle, set after an archetypal Christmas Eve dinner ("I never saw a finer turkey, finer beef") in a Rochester almshouse.

Dickens museum will get £2m facelift

Charles Dickens' former home is to receive a £2m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

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