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Country's Interior Ministry denies responsibility

George Orwell: A Life in Letters (ed Peter Davison)

A red-letter day for all Orwell fans

Our beautiful 'edgelands': A dark light on the edge of town

The half-rural, half-urban nothingness that surrounds our cities is often seen as a blight but not to poets Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts...

A Life In Letters, By George Orwell

Deadpan and droll, cantankerous and kind, the voice of Orwell's letters never sounds very far from the tone of his books in this rich collection of correspondence - beautifully edited and annotated by Peter Davison.

Diaries Volume One 1939-1960, By Christopher Isherwood

In her introduction to this vast, immaculately produced book, its editor Katherine Bucknell notes that Christopher Isherwood's handwritten diaries, which he maintained at great daily length (excepting a "wild" spell in the late Forties), contained "hardly any mistakes of any kind. The diaries are an endless transcript of life – without blot, without error, without misstatement, without verbal crime." As with the essays of his contemporary George Orwell, you could read this book as a primer on style. Bucknell points out that "page upon page reflect the clarity of his mind, his absolute mastery of syntax, his easy ranging, precise diction, his effortless power of description."

Tom Lubbock: Collages that cut to the quick

The Independent's Tom Lubbock also made his name as an artist, and his work is now going on show. Turner Prize-winner Mark Wallinger pays tribute.

Hip-hop deciphered at the British Library

When hip-hop artists stand in a circle and rap it's called a cypher," says Mobo award-winning artist Akala, who will be part of two events at the British Library this evening; a one-off language-based panel discussion, Voices of Hip-Hop and Late at the Library. "It's a common hip-hop word which came from the Islamic influence on hip-hop culture, and it's just one of tons of examples of the impact of hip-hop on the English language and the way people use that language."

New union leader attacks 'culture of fear' at BA

The new leader of Britain's biggest trade union attacked the "culture of fear" at British Airways today as he launched a drive to discover the level of "bullying and harassment" against cabin crew.

Cassandra back on radio after rude interruption

As Cassandra, his column graced the pages of the Daily Mirror for 35 years, firing out opinions and jokes with a pugnacity that delighted as many as it infuriated.

India: A Million Mutinies Now, By VS Naipaul

VS Naipaul first visited India, home of his ancestors, in 1962. Twenty-six years later he returned, and this is a long, detailed, thoughtful account of the changes he found, first published in 1990 and now reprinted for the 35th time.

Bite the Hand That Feeds You, By Henry Fairlie

Henry Fairlie, who died at the age of 66 two decades ago, is remembered with awe by a few fellow journalists of his era. Born of a Scottish journalist father, he rapidly climbed the heights of British journalism before embarking for America in 1966, where he wrote mainly for the Washington Post and the political journal, New Republic. Linking his name with George Orwell, Hendrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker maintains that his political essays "can induce something like ecstasy."

Amol Rajan: Let the axe fall on stale metaphors

This week, what passes for political debate in this country has, according to its protagonists, been a "soap opera" between "old", "new" and "next" Labour. Last week, everything hinged on whether or not the Coalition's Budget was "progressive". A few weeks earlier, acres of newsprint addressed our Prime Minister's use of the phrase "middle class". Nobody knows what any of these terms mean, least of all those who initially submitted them for public consideration. "Progressive" is related somehow to protecting the poor; "middle class" is so abused and polysemous as to be nothing more than a badge of honour among the unthinking rich. Our political language is not in a good state.

1065 and all that: Dave's Book of Dates

David Cameron has been criticised for a string of factual errors – from the date the US entered the Second World War to Iran's nuclear capability. David Randall imagines how the PM might tell the story of the past 2,000 years

Comrades gather to give 'Animal Farm' a musical makeover

A bleak warning about the dangers of Stalinism told through the perspective of a farmyard of mutinous pigs may not seem the most heartening setting or subject for a West End musical.

Robert Tressell: Return of the working-class heroes

As a stage version of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists opens, Andy McSmith praises the great socialist novel

Retro graphics: Why can't today's designers get enough of the past?

Over the years, any number of artists, writers and film-makers have laid out their visions for the future of the world in which they were living. In the late 1940s, in an almost uncanny anticipation of what was to come, George Orwell penned his account of a land blighted by pervasive government surveillance, with the classic novel 1984. In 1981, the director John Carpenter gave us the sci-fi action movie Escape From New York, in which the city had been transformed into one big maximum security prison. And who could forget Prince's worldwide hit "1999", in which "the sky was all purple" and there were "people running everywhere".

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Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea