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Domino's Pizza has named the former boss of Halfords as its new chief executive as Lance Batchelor moves on to Saga ahead of its £3 billion flotation.

American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Book of a lifetime: The Song of Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Hiawatha was read to me before I could read. The eponymous protagonist of the long poem (his name means “He Makes Rivers”) is a Native American leader whose mother is called Wenonah and whose father is the West Wind. Hiawatha is a prophet, warrior, and peacemaker. In his spare time, he – accidentally, but most conveniently – discovers corn. On a different day, he invents the written word. The Song of Hiawatha is the kind of book I would have liked to write when I was a child and would like to be able to write now.

Imaginary world, harsh realities: Mozambique

Book review: The Tuner of Silences, By Mia Couto, trans. David Brookshaw

A story of family life amid conflict extends the range of one of Africa's most admired writers

Mike Gayle: 'My study used to be my youngest daughter's bedroom hence the bright pink walls'

One minute with: Mike Gayle, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

A chapter on writing erotic fiction is to feature in the 'Writers' & Artists' Yearbook' for the first time following the success of EL James' 'Fifty Shades of Grey' (pictured)

Fifty Shades of Grey inspires new chapter on erotic fiction in Bloomsbury Writers' and Artists' Yearbook

A well-established handbook for writers and artists is to include a chapter on writing erotic fiction for the first time.

Book of a lifetime: The Master and Margarita, By Mikhail Bulgakov

"Manuscripts don't burn…" In my early teens, hating my school, hating pretty much everything, I was kicking around the rectory kitchen of an aunt who'd drawn the short straw of looking after me for half term when she sighed heavily and stubbed out her cigarette. In the few seconds that elapsed before she lit another, she stamped across to a small bookcase. Pulling a tatty paperback from a shelf, she said, "Stalin's favourite playwright. Don't let that put you off."

Matheson in 2000: his writing career began at the age of eight

Richard Matheson: Acclaimed fantasy, sci-fi and horror writer

Richard Matheson's influence over film and fiction spanned generations. Stephen Spielberg's career was kick-started by Matheson's short story Duel. Stephen King cited him as his biggest influence and waxed particularly lyrical about his novel The Shrinking Man (1956). George A Romero was inspired to make his classic Zombie movie Night of the Living Dead by the way the vampires shambled about in the first film version of Matheson's best known novel, I Am Legend (1954).

A selected history of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was one of the most-celebrated writers of the twentieth century, possessing a straightforward prose style, which often leaned towards understatement.

Invisible Ink: No 178 - The Vanishing Fantastics

What do the following names have in common? Winston Churchill, Raymond Chandler, John Lennon, Muriel Spark, JB Priestley, F Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Daphne Du Maurier, Noël Coward?

Carroll singer: the Welsh soprano Fflur Wyn is set to take the lead role in 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'

Why creating the perfect Alice is no tea party

Michael Volpe continues his monthly dispatch on staging a world premiere

A quiet book: Melvyn Bragg

Review: Grace and Mary, By Melvyn Bragg

Tender and moving, this novel about the loss of memory also reaffirms the value of the storyteller

America’s rise and fall: Occupy Wall Street protesers march through New York City in 2011

Review: The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, By George Packer

This rich collage of characters and events adds up to a devastating picture of a country in crisis

Best-selling author Iain Banks

Tributes paid to 'Wasp Factory' author Iain Banks after he dies from cancer: 'He's dead, I'm crying in an empty house'

Bestselling crime writer Ian Rankin has led tributes to his late friend Ian Banks, author of The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road, who died yesterday aged 59 just two months after announcing he had terminal cancer.

Boyd Tonkin: Those scary, monstrous feminazis - they still dare to run a book prize

A lot of Pinot Grigio has passed under the bridge since, at a small-scale and low-key event, I saw Helen Dunmore receive the inaugural Orange Prize for fiction in 1996. Dunmore, who won for the outstanding A Spell of Winter, goes from strength to strength.

Homes picked up the Women’s Prize for 'May We Be Forgiven'

Women's Prize for Fiction 2013: Hilary Mantel denied literary hat-trick as American author AM Homes takes the crown

Hilary Mantel has been denied a literary hat-trick, after American author AM Homes staged an upset to win the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Jack Vance: Celebrated author of fantasy and science fiction

Jack Vance was an author of science fiction and fantasy novels who wrote more than 60 books and many short stories during his long career. Vance viewed his task as a writer to be invisible to the reader, as he explained in his autobiography, "…the mark of good writing, in my opinion, is that the reader is not aware that the story has been written; as he reads, the ideas and images flow into his mind as if he were living them. The utmost accolade a writer can receive is that the reader is incognisant of his presence."

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick