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The Week in Books: The benefits of GCSE literature go beyond just the classics

A lot of literary fists were shaken at Michael Gove this week for his plans not to include English literature in the five core subjects for the proposed baccalaureate. While the language part of English will remain compulsory, with all its form-filling functionality, literature will be an optional subject alongside French, wood-work, and the rest.

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Between the Covers 11/10/2013

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Arts Diary: James Franco the acting polymath extends his oeuvre into novel territory with 'Actors Anonymous'; Fielding's bad news for Firth; Frieze Art Fair; Male nudes at Musee d'Orsay

James Franco – actor, artist, adept dabbler – has written a novel. Actors Anonymous is published on Tuesday and is billed as an “intense, wild ride into the dark heart of celebrity”. “Hollywood has always been a private club,” writes Franco. “I open the gates. I say welcome. I say, look inside.” He also writes, “I’m here to entertain you but I don’t really care about entertaining you.”

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Page 3 Profile: Helen Fielding, author

Monday September 30: Weight: 130lbs (slight over-indulgence), alcohol units: 4 (very well-behaved), cigarettes: 10, calories: 2,560.

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Mr Darcy is dead: Bridget Jones returns as a single mother of two

Fifteen years since The Edge of Reason, shocking extracts from Helen Fielding's new book reveal she has killed off Mark Darcy in the intervening period

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